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United States

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

CIVIL
RESEARCH


Role:
Research
Founded:
July 29, 1958 in current form

Size:
13 air vehicle types
(atmospheric)
17,960 active personnel

Updated March 8, 2024
Data and images: NASA at   www.nasa.gov.
Roundel

NASA Insignia

Current X-Planes (3)

  • X66
    RESEARCH

    FlagBoeing

    The X-66 will serve as NASA's Sustainable Flight Demonstrator.
    The goal is to showcase a new aircraft with net zero greenhouse
    gas emissions by 2050.

    Image: Boeing
  • X-59 Quesst
    RESEARCH

    FlagLockheed Martin

    The X-59 explores commercial supersonic flight over land,
    dramatically reducing air travel time.

    Image: NASA
  • X-57 Maxwell (P2006T)
    RESEARCH
    ELECTRIC

    FlagCostruzioni Aeronautiche TECNAM S.p.A.

    Battery technology, electromagnetic interference, motor
    controller research.

    Image: Lauren Hughes / NASA

Research and Testbed Platforms (10)

  • F-15B TN 836 Aeronautics Research Test Bed
    RESEARCH

    FlagMcDonnell Douglas

    Flight testing advanced propulsion concepts,
    aerodynamic, instrumentation flight research experiments.

    Image: NASA
  • Gulfstream III Aerodynamics Research Test Bed
    RESEARCH

    FlagGulfstream

    Aerodynamics research test bed.
    Image: Tony Landis / NASA
  • DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory
    RESEARCH

    FlagDouglas Aircraft Company

    A highly modified Douglas DC-8 jetliner as a flying science laboratory.
    Collecting data for experiments in support of projects.

    Image: Lori Losey / NASA
  • ER-2 High-Altitude Science Aircraft
    RESEARCH

    FlagLockheed

    Flying laboratories, collecting information about the Earth’s
    resources, celestial observations, atmospheric chemistry and dynamics,
    and oceanic processes.

    Image: Carla Thomas / NASA
  • C-20A Environmental Science Research Aircraft
    RESEARCH

    FlagGulfstream

    Geophysical research mission aircraft.
    A military version of the Gulfstream III business jet, extensively modified. Synthetic aperture radar,
    on-board Data Collection and Processing System (DCAPS), and a precision autopilot.

    Image: NASA
  • F-15D Support Aircraft
    SUPPORT

    FlagMcDonnell Douglas

    Research support and pilot proficiency,
    photo and video support.

    Image: Jim Ross / NASA
  • F/A-18 Mission Support Aircraft
    SUPPORT

    FlagMcDonnell Douglas

    Escort aircraft during research missions.
    Image: NASA
  • B200 King Air Mission Support and Research Aircraft
    SUPPORT

    FlagBeechcraft

    Pilot proficiency and transporting personnel on NASA business to
    locations not served by regular airlines.

    Image: Carla Thomas / NASA
  • T-34C Mission Support Aircraft
    SUPPORT

    FlagRaytheon Aircraft Co.

    Primarily used for chasing remotely piloted unmanned air vehicles that fly
    slower than NASA F-18 mission support aircraft can fly.

    Image: NASA
  • Global Hawk
    UAV

    FlagNorthrop Grumman

    Unmanned aircraft for high-altitude, long-duration missions.
    Image: Tom Miller / NASA