The Cutest Little Spaceship that Never Flew

A close-up view of the X-38 under the wing of NASA’s B-52 mothership prior to a test launch of the vehicle. Credit: NASA

Of all the missions and spacecraft that NASA has shelved over the years, I found the X-38 Crew Return Vehicle (CRV) to personally be one of the most disappointing. While its cancellation resulted in no loss of science and never stranded any astronauts in space, my disappointment was from strictly an aesthetic point of view: this was the cutest little spacecraft I had ever seen. The X-38 was a prototype for a wingless lifting body reentry vehicle that was to be used as a crew return and/or rescue vehicle for the International Space Station, but it was canceled in 2002 due to budget cuts. I guess cuteness doesn’t get you far in the space biz. (…) Read the rest of The Cutest Little Spaceship that Never Flew (266 words)

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(C) nancy for Universe Today, 2010. | Permalink | 3 comments | Add to Post

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