Dr. Robert H. Goddard observes the launch site from his launch control shack while standing by the firing control panel. From here he can fire, release, or stop testing if firing was unsatisfactory. The sandbags on the roof provide protection against possible accident.
A radio controlled model aircraft, acting as a miniature mothership, carries aloft a model of the X-33. Dryden engineer R. Dale Reed began using model drop tests in the early 1960s to test different lifting body shapes. This included the first tests of the M2-F1, and later the M2-F2, Hyper III, and X-38 designs. The X-33 model is mounted under the Mothership's right boom. After reaching the desired altitude, the X-33 model was released and glided back to a landing.*Buy NASA patches at eBay.