A Jet Assisted Take Off Unit, now known as a rocket, under construction.
Credit: Fred Lindelbach
In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, Rockets, or JATO — Jet Assisted Take Off Units — are seen under construction at the High Pressure Combustion Facility on March 19, 1946. Such engines were often used during the 1940s-1960s to boost heavily-laden aircraft off the ground.
Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).