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NASA's newest jet, the HU-25C Guardian Falcon, arrives at the NASA Langley Research Center in November 2011. Credit: NASA/Sean Smith
In November 2011, Langley acquired a HU-25C Guardian Falcon from the U.S. Coast Guard. It is equivalent to a Falcon business jet built by Dassault Aircraft. It offers more capabilities than NASA Langley's current fleet. It can fly higher, further and longer and already has some special equipment installed that would help it support aeroscience research.
The IceBridge Arctic 2012 campaign marks the Falcon’s first participation in any NASA mission. It will carry the Land, Vegetation, and Ice Sensor (LVIS) at the high altitudes required by the instrument, with flights originating out of Thule and Kangerlussuaq, Greenland starting April 19, 2012.