Space History Photo: M2-F3 In-Flight Launch from the B-52 Mothership

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The M2-F3 is launched from the B-52 Mothership in 1971. (Image credit: NASA.)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, the M2-F3 lifting body is being launched from NASA's B- 52 mothership at the NASA Flight Research Center (FRC — now the Dryden Flight Research Center), Edwards, California.

A fleet of lifting bodies flown at the FRC from 1963 to l975 demonstrated the ability of pilots to maneuver and safely land a wingless vehicle designed to fly back to Earth from space and be landed like an aircraft at a pre-determined site.

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: