@OrganicMarble's answer mentions

Because the Orbiter wings developed lift at zero angle of attack, the high dynamic pressure portion of ascent had to be flown at a negative angle of attack, close to the zero lift angle. This could have been done heads-up or down, but the early crew members expressed a preference for having a horizon view. This led to the heads-down attitude.

If lift and drag were plotted together as in the hypothetical picture below, would it show a significant increase in drag coefficient $C_D$ at a typical negative AOA used at this point in the Shuttle's ascent?

enter image description here

Source: X-plane.org

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Finding a straightforward plot of drag coefficient versus Alpha for the mated vehicle is proving unexpectedly difficult. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Oct 13 '18 at 19:28

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