Peterson's lifting-body work included 42 glide flights in the M2-F1 lightweight lifting body and numerous research missions in the heavier rocket-powered M2-F2 and HL-10 lifting bodies
was designed to investigate flight characteristics within the atmosphere from high altitude supersonic speeds to landing, and to prove the feasibility of using lifting bodies
for return from space," says the Museum's web site.
When the Office of Naval Research decided that it needed a vessel to prove the concepts behind lifting bodies, it opted to save money by converting an existing research vessel.
According to Joel Berg, a senior staff engineer at the re-manufacturing center, the Rochester lab needed to determine if the ship's modified hull could withstand the load passed to it through new struts and lifting bodies.
For the converted SES, adding struts and lifting bodies changes the stresses completely--in effect, rotating them 180 degrees.
Concepts being looked at included modified Apollo moon program capsules, winged spacecraft and wingless spacecraft called lifting bodies
, a design studied in depth with experimental aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base in the 1960s and 1970s.
The first of those lifting bodies
once was familiar, in an odd way, to millions of American television viewers.
NASA's lifting bodies
were a series of aircraft featuring a blunt-nose, wingless design.
As the X-38 was being unloaded from the C-17, Dryden director Ken Szalai said, ``The lifting bodies
have returned to Dryden.
Over a 12-year period, Dryden flew eight different lifting bodies.
It looked like lifting bodies were going to lose out to winged fuselages like the shuttle.
Reed is back at work on lifting bodies, this time as a consultant for the X-35, proposed as a ``lifeboat'' for the international space station.