News media are invited to visit NASA’s Ellington Airport facility on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 8 a.m. to participate in a media day with NASA WB-57 pilots and personnel. The media day will showcase the unique aircraft and highlight how the aircrews prepare for high altitude flights routinely conducted above 55,000 feet and lasting seven hours in duration. As a capstone to the media day, NASA’s trio of WB-57s will take a historic photo flight in formation around the greater Houston area.

NASA’s WB-57 High Altitude Research Program is comprised of three WB-57 aircraft based near Johnson Space Center at Ellington Airport. The aircraft have been flying research missions since the early 1960’s, and continue to be an asset to the scientific community. Missions include: atmospheric and earth science research, cosmic dust collection, rocket launch support, and research and design test bed operations for airborne and spaceborne systems.

The WB-57 pilots and personnel supported several missions this hurricane season, including flights over hurricanes Joaquin, and Patricia. The dropsonde instruments inserted into the storms from the WB-57 helped weather forecasters from NOAA and the Naval Research Laboratory accurately predict storm intensity, movement and lifespan.

Registration is limited to U.S-based media outlets and reporters. Media interested in attending must contact the JSC representatives via email ( and or call 281-483-5111 no later than 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, for accreditation and additional details.

Citizen photographers are encouraged to photograph Wednesday’s formation flight and post their images and video on social media using the hashtag #WB57 to @NASA_Johnson and/or @NASAAero.

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