In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, the Remote Controlled research staff, from left to right: Richard C. Eldredge, Dale Reed, James O. Newman and Bob McDonald, display several lifting body models and the radio controlled mothership in January of 1968.
In support of the M2 lifting body program in the early 1960s, Dale Reed had built a number of small lifting body shapes and drop tested them from a radio controlled mothership. By late 1968, "Mother" had made over 120 launch drops. Next, Reed devised a program in which NASA research pilot Milt Thompson could remotely pilot "Mother" using an 8-ball attitude indicator from the ground.
Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).