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Current Status:
Open (Next Activity 09/09/24: 1A and 3A Maintenance)

Note: The NASA DC-8 aircraft will be retired after the ASIA-AQ, April 2024 deployment.

Based at NASA Armstrong's Building 703 in Palmdale, CA, this unique flying laboratory collects data for experiments in support of scientific projects serving the world's scientific community, including investigators from NASA and other federal, state, academic, and foreign institutions. The DC-8 flies three primary missions - sensor development, satellite sensor verification, and basic research studies of the Earth's surface and atmosphere. Data gathered by the DC-8 at flight altitude and by remote sensing have been used for scientific studies in archeology, ecology, geography, hydrology, meteorology, oceanography, volcanology, atmospheric chemistry, soil science, and biology.

NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center
Conventional Aircraft
12.0 hours (payload and weather dependent)
Useful Payload: 
50,000 lbs
Gross Take-off Weight: 
350,000 lbs
Onboard Operators: 
42 not including 8 flight crew
Max Altitude: 
42,000 ft.
Air Speed: 
460 knots
5,400 Nmi
NASA SMD User Fee per Hour: 
Point(s) of Contact: 

Brian Hobbs

Work: (661) 276-2557
Mobile: (661) 221-8235

Kirsten Boogaard

Work: (661) 276-2335
Mobile: (661) 341-7808
Individual Aircraft Details: 

N817NA (NASA817) based at Palmdale/Bldg 703
  Year built: 1969
  Year entered ASP service: 1987