Intro: Home-Built, Single Prop, Lifting Body Version of the X-38.
Aaron K. Clark
Inspired by the 1960's Wingless Lifting body programs, the X-38 was a prototype crew return vehicle for the International Space Station. At the time the program was canceled, in April of 2002, the first orbital prototype, Vehicle 201, was 80% complete.
This was heart-wrenching for me and other employees at NASA's Johnson Space Center, where for the first time since the Apollo program, a spacecraft was being built in-house.
My project proposal, inspired by Dr. Barnaby Wanifan's Facetmobile (a home-built, lifting body, experimental aircraft) I want to build a single prop version of the X-38. Using readily available software and industry proven techniques in foam-core and carbon-fiber sandwich construction, a single-person version of my favorite lifting body design could be completed in as little as thirty-six months.