Gulfstream V Research Aircraft "NASA 5"

The Johnson Space Center (JSC) procured a long-range Gulfstream GV aircraft as part of a shared usage agreement between the International Space Station (ISS) Program and the NASA Earth Sciences Division (ESD). The ISS Program will use this aircraft to fulfill the Soyuz Direct and Commercial Crew Program Crew Return missions, and ESD will use this aircraft to support airborne science missions in remote locations around the world. The collaboration between the ISS Program and ESD replicates the successful shared usage model currently implemented by JSC on the Gulfstream GIII aircraft and provides the agency a business jet to serve as a true long range platform to execute missions around the world.

Aircraft Specifications

  • Aircraft Ceiling: 51,000 feet
  • Max Gross Weight: 90,900 lbs
  • Mission Duration: 10 hours / 12 hours (36,000 lbs / 41,300 lbs of fuel)
  • Cabin Payload Capacity: 8,100 lbs / 2,800 lbs (36,000 lbs  / 41,300 lbs of fuel)
  • Max Airspeed: 507 knots at 41,000 feet (Max Mach .885)
  • Aircrew: 2 Pilots
  • Experimenter Electrical Power: 115 VAC 60 Hz – 21 kVA 115 VAC 400 Hz – 20 kVA 28 VDC – 10 kW
  • Experimenter Interfaces: QTY 2, 17” DIA nadir optical viewports, Inmarsat/Iridium Satcom, 10 Gbps onboard network infrastructure, NASDAT, NTP/PTP time, GPS, legacy navigation data
  • Cabin Payload Capacity: Configurable 19” equipment racks, 300 pounds max per rack
  • Mission Costs: Airborne Science Supported Platform, Subsidized Rate of $3,000 per flight plus MPCs



  • Two, centerline, nadir-facing optical viewports
  • 8 EIA-310B standard rack/seat cabin positions
  • Experimenter power system:
    • 21 kVA, 115 VAC 60 Hz (single phase)
    • 20 kVA, 115 VAC 400 Hz (both single and three-phase)
    • 10kW, 28 VDC (regulated)
    • NEMA, SAE AS6129, or NASA Mk I/III EIP power interfaces available
  • Satellite communications:
    • L-band Inmarsat (432 kbps max theoretical, software upgradeable to 650 kbps HDR service)
    • Iridium phone (voice and data)
    • NASDAT Iridium modem (data)
  • Experimenter data system:
    • 10GBASE-T, OM1 and OM3 fiber rack-to-rack connectivity
    • NASDAT (navigation data recording and distribution)
    • Network Time Protocol (NTP) and Precision Time Protocol (PTP/IEEE 1582)
    • GPS/GLONASS L1/L2 RF distribution
    • Legacy data (IRIG-B, Arinc 429, GPS PPS, WOW, etc.)

Aircraft History

The aircraft was procured by the agency in September 2016.  JSC modified the aircraft over the following winter to  provide the necessary medical care to deconditioned astronauts and started executing the direct return mission in February 2017.  The JSC engineering and maintenance teams have been completing the designs, analyses, and modifications required to transform the airplane into an airborne science platform.  JSC is nearing the completion of these modifications as the installation of two, large nadir windows in the fuselage is slated to be completed in January 2019.


For Further Information



Points of Contact

Program Manager: Tyler Thompson: 281-244-0677

Mission Planner: Brendan Finnegan: 281-483-2156


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