NASA Meatball   Word Graphic:NASA Gulfstream III

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Picture of Airborne Science Program Logo Gulfstream GIII AirMoss

NASA Johnson Space Center’s Gulfstream III (N992NA) is used to transport astronauts returning from Kazakhstan to Houston, Texas after completing missions aboard the International Space Station. In 2011-2012, the aircraft was extensively modified to accommodate the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s P-band Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) instrument in a pod below the fuselage. The interior was also modified to include equipment racks and crew stations for the UAVSAR and Platform Precision Autopilot (PPA) operators. The P-band UAVSAR instrument is used to study North American root-zone soil moisture as part of the Airborne Microwave Observatory of Subcanopy and Subsurface (AirMOSS) project. AirMOSS is part of the NASA Earth Venture-1 (EV-1) program.

Aircraft History
The GIII was built by Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation in Savannah, Georgia in 1981 as model number G-1159A, serial number 309. During the 1980s, it was primarily flown as a corporate jet. In 1989, it began service with NASA as N1NA, flying missions in support of NASA Headquarters and Langley Research Center, Virginia. In 2006, the aircraft was transferred to Johnson Space Center and reregistered as N2NA, serving as a mission management aircraft. After one year'€™s service at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, California as N803NA during 2008-2009, the aircraft was returned to Johnson Space Center in late 2009 and reregistered as N992NA. It is currently stationed at Ellington Field, Houston, Texas.

Aircraft Specifications
Aircraft: Gulfstream III (military designation C-20B)
Flight Crew: 3 (2 pilots, 1 Flight Engineer)
Passengers: 15 max
Engines: 2 Rolls-Royce Spey Mk 511-8 turbofans with 11,400 lbs (5,171 kg) thrust each
Empty Weight: 38,000 lbs (17,237 kg)
Max Takeoff Weight: 69,700 lbs (31,615 kg)
Normal Cruise Speed: 459 kts (527 mph, 848 km/h)
Max Cruise Speed: 501 kts (576 mph, 927 km/h) or Mach 0.85
Ceiling: 45,000 ft (13,716 m)
Range: 3,650 nm (4,200 statute miles or 6,759 km)
Endurance: 7 hours
Wingspan: 77.8 ft (23.7 m)
Length: 83.0 ft (25.3 m)
Height: 24.4 ft (7.4 m)

For Further Information
Aircraft/AirMOSS Schedule:

Points of Contact
Program Manager: Derek Rutovic: 281-244-9871
Project Pilot: Bill Rieke: 281-244-9658

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Last Update: March 1, 2018
Curator: Lynn Chang/SAIC
Responsible NASA Official: Derek Rutovic

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