U-2 Spy Plane With Fictitious NASA Markings

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When: 06 May 1960

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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. 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.

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Date: May 6, 1960


Owner: NASA on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 58439
cia edwardsairforcebase francisgarypowers naca nasaflightresearchcenter nikitakrushchev sovietunion sverdlovsk u2spyplane u2c

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