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Space History Photo: SR-71 Over Snow Capped Mountains

space history, unique aircraft
This unique Dryden aircraft is finishing a test flight and refueling at sea. (Image credit: NASA.)

In this historic photo from the U.S. space agency, Dryden's SR-71B, NASA 831, slices across the snowy southern Sierra Nevada Mountains of California in January of 1995, after being refueled by an Air Force Flight Test Center tanker during a recent flight.

The Mach 3 SR-71B aircraft  are being flown by the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., as testbeds for high-speed, high-altitude aeronautical research. Capable of flying more than 2200 mph and at altitudes of over 85,000 feet, they are excellent platforms for research and experiments in aerodynamics, propulsion, structures, thermal protection materials, atmospheric studies, and sonic boom characterization.

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

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the U.S. government agency in charge of the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Founded in 1958, NASA is a civilian space agency aimed at exploring the universe with space telescopes,  satellites, robotic spacecraft, astronauts and more. The space agency has 10 major centers based across the U.S. and launches robotic and crewed missions from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida. It's astronaut corps is based at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. To follow NASA's latest mission, follow the space agency on Twitter or any other social channel, of visit: nasa.gov