Martin X-23

From the placard:
The PRIME (Precision Recovery Including Maneuvering Entry) project ws the second part of the START (Spacecraft Technology and Advanced Reentry Test) program. It had the dual objective of testing advances in space hardware and further exploring the development of manned and unmanned lifting body vehicles. Four XV-5D [ed. note: also known as the X-23] vehicles were built by the Martin Company to fulfill the objectives of the PRIME program. Outside earth's atmosphere the SV-5D was maneuvered by the release of high pressure nitrogen through jet thrusters. When the craft re-entered the atmosphere its control system automatically swithced to airplane-type flaps for pitch and roll control.

On a typical flight, the unmanned XV-5D was launched by an Atlas booster from Vandenburg AFB, California. At the high point in its flight path, the Atlas pitched downward while its rocket continued accelerating it to speeds nearly as great as those of the spacecraft re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lifting body's inertial guidance system directed it to a preselected recover point. Three PRIME test flights were made, the first on December 21, 1966, and the last on April 19, 1967. A scheduled fourth flight was cancelled due to the successes of the previous tests.

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