Forces of Flight on this Page

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Gravity & Air

Understanding the basics—gravity and air—is key.

To rise above it all, you have to face some facts:

You must grapple with gravity no matter how or where you fly, because gravity is everywhere—you can’t escape it. You can’t ignore air either. Air is “stuff” that you must fly through, and it produces two forces of flight: lift and drag. 

Space Shuttle Discovery, photographed from the International Space Station, against the backdrop of the blue and white Earth.
Credit: NASA

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Distance Challenge

33,253,577 miles flown

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