M2-F3 lifting body in Space Race

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M2-F3 lifting body in Space Race

Test vehicles called lifting bodies -- wingless aircraft that derive lift from their shape -- were a crucial step in developing the Space Shuttle orbiter. This M2-F3 lifting body completed 27 flights from 1967 through 1972.

Image Number: SI 97-16269-8
Credit: Image by Eric Long, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution
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