The SR-71 Blackbird

NASA SR-71 Blackbird Years

 A second NASA effort in the 1990s employed several SR-71 aircraft as high-speed, high-altitude laboratories to conduct a variety of scientific experiments.

Linear Aerospike SR-71 Experiment (LASRE)
31 October 1997

Linear Aerospike SR-71 Experiment (LASRE)

During the 1990s two SR-71 Blackbird aircraft were used by NASA as testbeds for high-speed and high-altitude aeronautical research at Dryden. The aircraft included an SR-71A and SR-71B (the trainer version), loaned to NASA by the U.S. Air Force. Information from the LASRE experiment helped Lockheed Martin maximize its design for a future potential reusable launch vehicle. It gave Lockheed an understanding the performance of the X-33 lifting body and linear aerospike engine combination.