Francis Rogallo (above, in 1959 in a wind tunnel at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia) along with his wife Gertrude, originally conceived of their paraglider in the mid-1940s to make aviation more practical and economically available to more aviators.

The Paraglider That NASA Could Have Used, but Didn't, to Bring Astronauts Back to Earth

Francis Rogallo's invention would have brought returning space vehicles in for a runway landing, instead of an ocean splashdown

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