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U-2 spy plane with fictitious NASA markings, USA, 1960. Creator: NASA Featured Image

U-2 spy plane with fictitious NASA markings, USA, 1960. Creator: NASA

U-2 spy plane with fictitious NASA markings, USA, 1960. After Francis Gary Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union during a CIA spy flight on May 1, 1960, NASA issued a press release with a cover story about a U-2 conducting weather research that may have strayed off course after the pilot reported difficulties with his oxygen equipment. To bolster the cover-up, a U-2 was quickly painted in NASA markings, with a fictitious NASA serial number, and put on display for the news media at the NASA Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base on May 6, 1960. The U-2 cover story in 1956 was that it was an NACA plane to conduct high-altitude weather research. But various observers doubted this story from the beginning. Certainly the Soviets did not believe it once the aircraft began overflying their territory. The NASA cover story quickly blew up in the agency's face when both Gary Powers and aircraft wreckage were displayed by the Soviet Union, proving that it was a reconnaissance aircraft. This caused embarrassment for several top NASA officials

© Heritage Space/Heritage Images

Women workers install fixtures and assemblies...Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif., 1942. Creator: Alfred T Palmer Featured Image

Women workers install fixtures and assemblies...Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif., 1942. Creator: Alfred T Palmer

Women workers install fixtures and assemblies to a tail fuselage section of a B-17F bomber at the Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif. Better known as the "Flying Fortress, " the B-17F is a later model of the B-17 which distinguished itself in action in the South Pacific, over Germany and elsewhere. It is a long range, high altitude heavy bomber, with a crew of seven to nine men, and with armament sufficient to defend itself on daylight missions

© Heritage Art/Heritage Images

Marine lieutenant, pilot with the power towing plane for the...page Field, Parris Island, S.C. 1942 Creator: Alfred T Palmer Featured Image

Marine lieutenant, pilot with the power towing plane for the...page Field, Parris Island, S.C. 1942 Creator: Alfred T Palmer

Marine lieutenant, pilot with the power towing plane for the training gliders at page Field, Parris Island, S.C

© Heritage Art/Heritage Images

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