This unique, close-up view of the X-38 under the wing of NASA's B-52 mothership prior to launch of the lifting-body research vehicle was taken from the observation window of the B-52 bomber as it banked in flight.
The X-38 Crew Return Vehicle (CRV) research project helped develop the technology for a prototype emergency crew return vehicle, or lifeboat, for the International Space Station.
The X-38 Crew Return Vehicle (CRV) was a prototype for a wingless lifting body reentry vehicle that was to be used as a Crew Return Vehicle for the International Space Station (ISS). The X-38 was developed to the point of a drop test vehicle before its development was cancelled in 2002 due to budget cuts.
Explore further: ESA astronaut Roberto Vittori arrives at the International Space Station