Skip to main content

Space History Photo: X-38 Ship #2 Release from B-52

space history, nasa, lifting body
The X-38 research vehicle drops away from NASA's B-52 mothership during a 1999 test flight.
(Image: © NASA | Carla Thomas)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, the X-38 research vehicle drops away from NASA's B-52 mothership immediately after being released from the B-52's wing pylon. More than 30 years earlier, this same B-52 launched the original lifting-body vehicles flight tested by NASA and the Air Force at what is now called the Dryden Flight Research Center and the Air Force Flight Test Center.

NASA B-52 Tail Number 008 is an air launch carrier aircraft "mothership," as well as a research aircraft platform that has been used on a variety of research projects.

Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.