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The US lifting body research programme.... as a ten year old I was spurred on to develop my own lifting body programme*, resulting in the eventual destruction of several saplings and me being sent home from school for 'playing with explosives and causing a menace in the playground'... happy days.
* it was a model of the M2-F2 made from sheet steel, approx 75cm across, powered by a home made solid fuel rocket motor and 'got up to speed' by a glider launch bungee.
Well, according to DD and Conspiracy Theorists, they are excellent at Covering Things Up: not landing on the moon, our Lizard Masters, Kennedys assassination by Book Of The Month Club, that sort of thing.
Never underestimate the power of stupid things in large numbers --- Serious Sam