The United States successfully tested its M2-F2 heavy lifting body in free flight on Tuesday(12 July).
B-52 With Ms beneath wing taxiing.
B-52 in flight...
Air shot: M2 attached to B-52.
Air shot: M2 dropped from plane..
Air shot: Va por from M2 rocket thrusters...
Air shot: B-52 and M2 alongside each other..
Another angle of same shot..
Air shot: M2 descending..
Air shot: MCU M2 descending..
LS M2 craft descending to land; flies through smoke from marker flares..
B-52 bomber with M2 vehicle beneath wing; B-52 in flight; M2 dropped from plane and descending; M2 landing.
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Background: The United States successfully tested its M2-F2 heavy lifting body in free flight on Tuesday(12 July). The four minute test, conducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, was launched from beneath the wing of a B-52 bomber.
The launch occurred at 45-thousand feet while the mother plane was cruising at 450 miles per hour.
The wingless M2F2 was flown by NASA Test Pilot Milton Thompson.
It was tested in flight to help in the design of future manned re-entry space craft. On its first free flight the successful maneuver it made its landing in the Rodgers Dry Lake Bed at a speed of 170 miles per hour.
The M2F2 is 22 feet long and 10 feet wide. It has no wings and is stabilized and steered in flight by four hydrogen peroxide rocket thrusters mounted at the rear of the craft. In future flights the M2 will be equipped with a rocket engine to drive it to altitudes in excess of 80,000 feet and speeds of 12-hundred miles per hour. The next test flight will be undertaken to determine if the M2F2 can withstand the punishment of re-entry.