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Current Status:
Undergoing Modifications (ends 09/30/25)

The NASA B777-200ER was acquired to replace and extend the capabilities of the NASA DC-8, which is retiring in 2024. The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) 2021 report entitled "Airborne Platforms to Advance Earth System Science Priorities: Assessing the Future Need for a Large Aircraft" outlines the need to maintain and improve upon the capability to carry a variety of remote sensing and gas sampling instruments in order to answer some of the most challenging questions in earth science. 

The aircraft is currently undergoing modifications at NASA Langley Research Center to include several nadir and window ports, power, data and communications systems, and instrument operator accommodations. First operations are planned for FY2026 from NASA Langley Research Center. This unique flying laboratory will have truly global reach enabling data collection for NASA projects to include sensor development, satellite sensor calibration, data product validation, and field studies to better understand earth system processes to improve models and decision-making. The predecessor to the B777, the DC-8 demonstrated the multidisciplinary nature of this class of platforms by supporting such diverse fields as of atmospheric chemistry, archeology, biology, ecology, hydrology, meteorology, oceanography, and volcanology.


NASA Langley Research Center
Twin engine, fixed-wing, wide-body, long-range commercial airliner
18.0 hours (payload and weather dependent)
Useful Payload: 
75,000 lbs
Gross Take-off Weight: 
648,000 lbs
Onboard Operators: 
Max Altitude: 
9,000 Nmi
28VDC; 115VAC 60Hz; 115VAC 400Hz
NASA SMD User Fee per Hour: 
Point(s) of Contact: 

Glenn Jamison

Mobile: (757) 403-8403

Martin Nowicki

Work: (757) 824-1754
Mobile: (757) 894-8464
Fax: (757) 824-1997
Individual Aircraft Details: 

N577NA (NASA577) based at NASA LARC
  Year built: 2003
  Year entered ASP service: 2025