Before mankind struggled to the stars, he took many faltering steps as he adapted the trove of alien technology to his needs.
Here, we see the R-3, a test aircraft designed to evaluate both Martian chemical rocket technology and their gravity control technology. The craft is fitted to the aft turret of the ’Daedelus’, herself an experimental design incorporating ideas for countering a second invasion that would never come. While neither could be counted as successful, the ideas begun with them would find more potent manifestations in that which followed.
Also of note are the markings- the R-3 wears the blue roundel of the League of Earth, an international technical and defense organization conceived of in the ashes of the failed Martian invasion.