Space: A Lift from the Lifting Body

As it reached an altitude of 100 miles and a speed of 18,000 m.p.h. off the West Coast of the U.S. last week, an Atlas rocket opened its clamshell nose cone and ejected a 7-ft. object that resembled a flatiron-shaped speedboat. The strange craft was the Air Force SV-5D, an experimental forerunner of a larger, manned "lifting body" that scientists believe will be equally at home in space and in the atmosphere.

Independently launched into orbit by a rocket or carried aloft in a mother spacecraft, lifting bodies will be maneuvered in space...

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