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NASA’s Martin WB-57 Canberras

9 September 2016
NASA's WB-57 aircraft flying in formation over Houston and JSC, photographed from a Navy T-6 aircraft. Photo Date: November 19, 2015. Photographer: Robert Markowitz

NASA’s three Martin WB-57 Canberra aircraft flying in formation over Houston and the Johnson Space Center—NASA photograph by Robert Markowitz

NASA flies the extremely high altitude WB-57 Canberra for a variety of research purposes. Two immense P&W TF-33 turbofans engines (15,500 pound thrust each) power the Canberra beyond 60,000 feet for up to 6½ hours carrying as much as 6000 pounds of scientific equipment.

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Martin WB-57 Canberra flying for NASA—NASA image

110909-N-ZO368-099 ROTA, SPAIN (Sept. 9, 2011) John Perry, a NASA WB-57 high altitude research aircraft maintainer, conducts start up checks on a WB-57 aircraft at Naval Station Rota, Spain. The crew from the Johnson Space Center visited Rota for routine maintenance and refueling of the aircraft. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Travis Alston/Released)

John Perry, a NASA WB-57 high altitude research aircraft maintainer, conducts start-up checks on a WB-57 aircraft at Naval Station Rota, Spain—U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 2nd Class Travis Alston

060224-F-0017M-005 San Diego (Feb. 24, 2006) - A NASA WB-57 loaded with a Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) communicates with the U.S. Joint Forces Command's Rapid Attack Information Dissemination-Execution Relay mobile vehicle (RAIDER) on board U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. BACN's forward-edge tactical server provides real-time information access to situation awareness, surveillance, imagery and network-management information for air and ground-based units, including the RAIDER. Northrop Grumman in partnership with NASA's Johnson Space Center is preparing BACN for test evaluation during a joint expeditionary force experiment in April. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michele Misiano (RELEASED)

A NASA WB-57 loaded with a Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) communicates with the U.S. Joint Forces Command’s Rapid Attack Information Dissemination-Execution Relay mobile vehicle (RAIDER) on board U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. BACN’s forward-edge tactical server provides real-time information access to situation awareness, surveillance, imagery and network-management information for air and ground-based units, including the RAIDER. Northrop Grumman in partnership with NASA’s Johnson Space Center is preparing BACN for test evaluation during a joint expeditionary force experiment—U.S. Air Force photo by Sr Airman Michele Misiano

110909-N-ZO368-248 ROTA, SPAIN (Sept. 9, 2011) A NASA WB-57 high altitude research aircraft takes off from the airfield at Naval Station Rota, Spain. The crew from the Johnson Space Center visited Rota for routine maintenance and refueling of the aircraft. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Travis Alston/Released)

A NASA WB-57 high altitude research aircraft taking off from the airfield at Naval Station Rota, Spain—U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 2nd Class Travis Alston

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