Authentic  NASA X-38 Crew Return Vehicle (CRV) Model
Part of the International Space Collection of  HighTechScience.org

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   This is a 1/30 scale model of the NASA X-38 Crew Return Vehicle (CRV). The model measures 5 3/4" X 9 3/4" and was hand made from mahogany wood.

   The model that we have has been used as an educational aid.

It is an authentic piece of U.S. Space History.

    The Crew Return Vehicle (CRV) is a manned space vehicle designed to stay permanently attached to the International Space Station. It is supposed to act as the Station's lifeboat and ensure the safe return of the Station crew to Earth in an emergency. The Crew Return Vehicle, which is under the responsibility of NASA, will offer room for up to 6 astronauts. The X-38 resembles a smaller, sleeker version of the Space Shuttle. The CRV, will offer room for up to 6 astronauts.

    The configuration chosen by NASA for the CRV is a so-called "lifting body". That is a vehicle roughly looking like a very narrow glider aircraft. It has no real wings, but short vertical winglets. The shape of the lifting body offers enough lift to allow for aerodynamically-assisted flight maneuvers, but the resulting landing speed would be to high for the classical aircraft landing technique with wheels. It is therefore foreseen that the CRV lands with the help of a parafoil. That is a very aero dynamical form of a parachute.

   Here the X-38 sails to a landing at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center. The test occurred on July 10, 2001.  It is using it's parafoil to help it's decent slow for a soft landing.

    In an emergency on the ISS, the crew will enter the X-38, close the hatch and hit "Go." The entire operation of the X-38 will be automated, requiring no input from the passengers. Since it is expected that space scientists have not been trained as pilots, they would not have the skills needed to fly the X-38 from the ISS to the Earth. They will have to rely on the sophisticated systems and software to bring them home.

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