X-31 Herbst Turn
The X-31 program demonstrated the value of thrust vectoring (directing engine exhaust flow) coupled with advanced flight control systems, to provide controlled flight during close-in air combat at very high angles of attack. The result of this increased maneuverability is an airplane with a significant advantage over conventional fighters.
What Does NASA Do?
NASA's mission is to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research.
To do that, thousands of people have been working around the world -- and off of it -- for almost 50 years, trying to answer some basic questions. What's out there in space? How do we get there? What will we find? What can we learn there, or learn just by trying to get there, that will make life better here on Earth?