Space pods

The odd story of NASA’s unused wingless escape vehicle for the International Space Station is finally over.

The prototype X-38, a 7-person, unpowered, totally automatic lifeboat, was officially laid to rest at the Strategic Air and Space Museum in Ashland, Nebraska last weekend.

Canceled in 2002 by the Bush administration in an effort to cut some costs from the International Space Station budget, the vehicle could have provided an emergency return route for astronauts on the station. It would have been docked in space, awaiting the call of duty.

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