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Space History Photo: F-86 Lowered into Full Scale Tunnel at Ames

space history, NACA, wind tunnels
An F-86 aircraft is lowered into a wind tunnel at the NACA Ames Aeronautical Laboratory in January of 1954. (Image credit: NACA.)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, this F-86 aircraft is being lowered into the 40 x 80 Foot Full Scale Wind Tunnel at the NACA Ames Aeronautical Laboratory, Moffett Field California, in January of 1954. Behind the aircraft and out of view, a crane operator lowers the jet as a mechanic holds a guide rope aligning the F-86 with supporting struts located down in the tunnel.

Once the jet is mounted on the struts, tunnel doors visible on either side of the aircraft's wings will close to form an air tight seal.

The National Advisory Committee 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