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SV-5D PRIME Lifting Body

DAYTON, Ohio -- SV-5D PRIME Lifting Bodies on display in the Missile and Space Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- SV-5D PRIME Lifting Bodies on display in the Missile and Space Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- SV-5D PRIME Lifting Body at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- SV-5D PRIME Lifting Body at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

SV-5D PRIME Lifting Body at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

SV-5D PRIME Lifting Body at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The PRIME project was the second part of the Spacecraft Technology and Advanced Re-entry Tests (START) 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 SV-5D vehicles were built by the Martin Co. to fulfill the objectives of the PRIME program. Outside the 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 switched to airplane-type flaps for pitch and roll control.

On a typical flight, the unmanned SV-5D was launched by an Atlas booster from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. 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 recovery point. Three PRIME test flights were made, the first on Dec. 21, 1966, and the last on April 19, 1967. A scheduled fourth flight was cancelled due to successes of the previous tests. 

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Mask Policy:
In accordance with the updated guidance released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Defense (DoD) and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will require all visitors to wear face masks indoors effective July 30, 2021 until further notice.

Visitors ages three and up will be required to wear masks while indoors at the museum. This policy applies to all visitors, staff and volunteers regardless of vaccination status. Visitors may wear their own masks or a free paper mask will be provided. Cloth masks will also be available for purchase in the Museum Store.
Additional information available here.

Road Construction:
Please note Springfield Street, the road that leads to the museum’s entrance, is undergoing construction through the beginning of September. Expect lane reductions and some delays. Please follow the signs and instructions provided by the road crews.

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