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Space History Photo: Python Engine Installed in Altitude Wind Tunnel

space history, NACA, wind tunnels
A mechanic checks the large turboprop engine prior to testing in the Altitude Wind Tunnel. (Image credit: GRC.)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, an engine mechanic checks instrumentation prior to an investigation of engine operating characteristics and thrust control of a large turboprop engine with counter-rotating propellers under high-altitude flight conditions in the 20-foot-diameter test section of the Altitude Wind Tunnel on Aug. 25, 1949. The Altitude Wind Tunnel was located at the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, Cleveland, Ohio, now known as the John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field.

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