To keep the plane aerodynamic, NASA gave it a very long nose. It’s nearly 50 feet long. If the cockpit canopy were to stick up into the windstream so the pilot could see forward, that protrusion would interrupt the flow of air around the craft. At the same time, trying to build a long, sloping windshield into the nose that a pilot could see out of would be ridiculous. “It would almost be like Wonder Woman’s invisible airplane—that’s what you’d have to build in order to look through that nose section,” says Randy Bailey, the lead at NASA on the plane’s external vision system. The whole nose would basically have to be see-through.