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Space History Photo: Skycrane Helicopter

space history, nasa, rotorcraft
The Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane helicopter was retired from military service in the 1970s. (Image credit: NASA.)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, the Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane helicopter, which saw service with the U.S.Army as the CH-54 Tarhe, flew at Langley in its later version, the CH-54B. The "Crane," seen here in March of 1972, was used in studies into the handling of large helicopters, and as such sported various loads attached to the airframe. The Army retired its Skycranes in the 1970s and they were completely removed from military service in the 1980s. Ex-military Skycranes entered commercial service, where they are used in various heavy-lift roles, including the lumber industry. The U.S. military preferred a heavy-lift aircraft that also had a cabin capable of carrying cargo and troops.

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