Space History Photo: Perseus B Parked on Ramp
The Perseus B, a remote piloted research aircraft, sits on the ramp, awaiting a test flight.
Credit: NASA | Tom Tscida

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, the long, slender wing of the Perseus B remotely piloted research aircraft can be clearly seen in this photo, taken on the ramp of NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in September 1999.

Perseus B is a remotely piloted aircraft developed as a design-performance testbed under NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) project. Perseus is one of several flight vehicles involved in the ERAST project. A piston engine, propeller- powered aircraft, Perseus was designed and built by Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, Manassas, Virginia.

Perseus is a high-wing monoplane with a conventional tail design. Its narrow, straight, high-aspect-ratio wing is mounted atop the fuselage. The aircraft is a pusher, designed with the propeller mounted in the rear. This design allows for interchangeable scientific-instrument payloads to be placed in the forward fuselage. The design also allows for unobstructed airflow to the sensors and other devices mounted in the payload compartment.

Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).