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Space History Photo: X-2 After Drop from B-50 Mothership

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The X-2 drops away from the B-50 Mothership on an unpowered flight. (Image credit: NACA.)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, the Bell Aircraft Company X-2 (46-674) drops away from its Boeing B-50 mothership in this photo in January of 1955. Lt. Col. Frank "Pete" Everest piloted 674 on its first unpowered flight on August 5 1954. He made the first rocket-powered flight on November 18, 1955. Everest made the first supersonic X-2 flight in 674 on April 25, 1956, achieving a speed of Mach 1.40. In July, he reached Mach 2.87, just short of the Mach 3 goal.

The National Advisory Committe on Aeronautics (NACA) was a precursor to NASA. NACA was created by Congress in 1915.

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