First X-38 lifeboat spacecraft for Space Station

First X-38 lifeboat spacecraft for Space Station

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This image is part of the feature X-Planes

Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: X-38 spacecraft. First X-38 spacecraft, a proto- type emergency "lifeboat" design to allow the crew of the proposed International Space Station (ISS) to escape. The X-38 would be launched aboard a Space Shuttle, and would remain docked to the ISS until required. It could also be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket as part of joint European-American manned space missions. On its return to Earth, the X-38 will glide unpowered through the atmosphere using its fuselage to generate lift, before deploying a steerable parafoil parachute just before landing. Mainly made of fibre glass, this prototype will be tested from an aircraft in 1997. The first X-38 space mission is due in 2000.

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Keywords: lifeboat spacecraft, plane, space flight, space station lifeboat, spacecraft, spaceflight, x-38, x-38 spacecraft

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