Fraud Blocker Skip to main content

Home > Historic > Space exploration > NASA history

U-2 spy plane with fictitious NASA markings, USA, 1960. Creator: NASA

U-2 spy plane with fictitious NASA markings, USA, 1960. Creator: NASA


Canvas Prints
Fine Art Prints
Mounted Prints
Metal Prints
Cards
Home Decor


We accept all major credit cards

Heritage Images

Wall Art and Photo Gifts from Heritage Images

U-2 spy plane with fictitious NASA markings, USA, 1960. Creator: NASA

U-2 spy plane with fictitious NASA markings, USA, 1960. 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. Certainly the Soviets did not believe it once the aircraft began overflying their territory. The NASA cover story quickly blew up in the agencys 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

Heritage Images features heritage image collections

Media ID 24045354

© Heritage Space/Heritage Images

Aeroplane Aircraft Airplane Aviation Diplomatic Incident Espionage Exploration Fake False Flight Heritage Space International Relations Nasa Plane Reconnaissance Space Space Exploration Space Travel Spying Air Transport Cover Up Fictitious Sham


FEATURES IN THESE COLLECTIONS

> Historic > Space exploration > NASA history

> Historic > Space exploration

> North America > United States of America > Related Images

> Popular Themes > Politics

> Science > Space Exploration > Related Images

> Transportation > Aeroplanes


EDITORS COMMENTS
This print captures a pivotal moment in history, showcasing a U-2 spy plane adorned with fictitious NASA markings. Taken in the USA in 1960, this image represents an attempt by NASA to conceal the true nature of these aircrafts' missions. Following Francis Gary Powers' unfortunate shooting down over Soviet Union during a CIA spy flight on May 1st, 1960, NASA swiftly devised a cover story. They issued a press release claiming that the U-2 had been conducting weather research and had accidentally strayed off course due to pilot-reported oxygen equipment difficulties. To bolster this elaborate ruse, an actual U-2 was promptly painted with authentic-looking NASA markings and assigned a fictional serial number. This decoy was then presented to the media at the prestigious NASA Flight Research Center located at Edwards Air Force Base on May 6th, 1960. However, doubts about the legitimacy of these claims were present from the beginning. The initial cover story dating back to 1956 stated that these planes were used for high-altitude weather research under NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics). Yet as time went on and flights began encroaching into Soviet territory, it became clear that they served another purpose entirely - reconnaissance. The embarrassing truth came crashing down when both Gary Powers himself and wreckage from his aircraft were displayed by the Soviet Union. This revelation exposed not only the covert operations but also caused significant embarrassment for top officials within NASA. This thought-provoking photograph serves as a reminder of how even well-crafted deceptions can eventually unravel under scrutiny and highlights one of many intriguing chapters in aerospace history.

MADE IN THE UK
Safe Shipping with 30 Day Money Back Guarantee

FREE PERSONALISATION*
We are proud to offer a range of customisation features including Personalised Captions, Color Filters and Picture Zoom Tools

FREE COLORIZATION SERVICE
You can choose advanced AI Colorization for this picture at no extra charge!

SECURE PAYMENTS
We happily accept a wide range of payment options so you can pay for the things you need in the way that is most convenient for you

* Options may vary by product and licensing agreement. Zoomed Pictures can be adjusted in the Basket.



redeem
Beautiful Photo Prints and Gifts
image
Professionally Printed
inventory
Photo Prints are in stock
thumb_up
Professional quality finish
diamond
Made with high-grade materials
inventory_2
Carefully packed to aid safe arrival



Related Images


U2 Spy Plane
U2 Spy Plane
English Electric Canberra
English Electric Canberra
TF-104G Starfighter of the Luftwaffe
TF-104G Starfighter of the Luftwaffe
Six F-104G Starfighters of the Luftwaffe
Six F-104G Starfighters of the Luftwaffe
Wadigi Island, Mamanuca Islands, Fiji, South Pacific - aerial
Wadigi Island, Mamanuca Islands, Fiji, South Pacific - aerial
Samuel Warren Ltd. page from Register of trade marks of the Cutlers Company of Sheffield, 1919. Compiled by J. H. Whitham and D. Vickers
Samuel Warren Ltd. page from Register of trade marks of the Cutlers Company of Sheffield, 1919. Compiled by J. H. Whitham and D. Vickers
Advert for Turnbull and Asser poncho and ground-sheet 1915
Advert for Turnbull and Asser poncho and ground-sheet 1915
The Red Arrows over RAF Akrotiri
The Red Arrows over RAF Akrotiri
Royal Navy Harrier Jet High Over RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus
Royal Navy Harrier Jet High Over RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus
RAF C-130 Hercules aircraft from RAF Akrotiri supports the Egyptian-led effort to
RAF C-130 Hercules aircraft from RAF Akrotiri supports the Egyptian-led effort to
100 years of the RAF
100 years of the RAF
Three TF-104G Starfighters of the Luftwaffe
Three TF-104G Starfighters of the Luftwaffe

+

Shipping

+

Choices

+

Reviews

+

Guaranteed




Related Collections


Aeroplanes
Aeroplanes
Browse 21,975 Prints
Politics
Politics
Browse 40,546 Prints
United States of America Related Images
United States of America Related Images
Browse 33,733 Prints
Space Exploration Related Images
Space Exploration Related Images
Browse 1,530 Prints
Space exploration
Space exploration
Browse 5,230 Prints
NASA history
NASA history
Browse 697 Prints