Space History Photo: Mitsubishi A6M2

space history, NACA, aircraft
This is the first "Zero" that came into Allied hands in 1942 during World War II. (Image credit: NASA.)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, a Mitsubishi A6M2 that was captured at Akutan Island, Alaska, in August 1942. This Mitsubishi A6M2 fighter was the first "Zero" to fall intact into Allied hands during WW II. After limited flying on the West Coast, the "Zero" arrived at Langley for installation of test equipment prior to in-depth flight testing by the Navy at Patuxent River, Maryland.

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

Each weekday, 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: