M2-F3 Lifting Body

Display Status:

This object is on display in the Space Race exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

This M2-F3 lifting body was the first of the heavyweight, wingless lifting body research craft of the 1960s. The lifting body programs tested the concept of achieving aerodynamic lift from just the shape of wingless craft, a concept used in designing the Space Shuttle. This F3 is the F2 re-built after a landing accident seriously damaged the M2-F2. The rocket-powered M2 was launched from beneath a B-52 mother craft at an altitude of 45,000 ft. and would glide to a landing. NASA transferred the M2-F3 to the Museum for display in 1975.