jet trainer

The NASA Village

Today in the NASA Village… Let’s Fly: Why Jet Training is Essential

Why do we train in jet trainer aircrafts? Many astronauts like myself, are selected for our scientific skills.  We also select some pilots too, but for those of us that have had no “operational” experience, T-38 is required training.

Flying in the T-38 was essential for adapting to unusual physical stresses (like higher than normal g-environments and wearing an oxygen mask), all the while being expected to read and follow checklists, communicate with my crewmates and the ground (Air Traffic Control), and prioritize real-time assessments of fuel and weather to ensure the safety of our crew. Extremely applicable training for space flight!

The T-38 is a two-engine jet that can hold two crew members and reach speeds as high as Mach 1.2, fly to heights of 50,000 feet (though 41-42,000 is much more common), and is used for aerobatic maneuvers to help the astronauts become adjusted to unusual attitudes that they will experience in the space flight.

Randy Watkins is one of the Mechanics at Ellington. You can see him assisting me to get ready for the flight.

“The job we do is a very unique opportunity. Working closely with America’s astronauts on a daily basis and sending them flying in our T-38 Talons is pretty awesome to say the least. And because everyone working with and for NASA are more than coworkers we are family, makes the seriousness of our job real with nothing taken for granted. This has been one of the best jobs I have ever had and hope and pray we continue to explore space for our future generations.”

Want to learn more about the T-38? Click here:

Do you want more stories?  Find our NASA Villagers here!

Tour NASA with One Direction

You might have heard, One Direction filmed their ‘Drag Me Down’ music video at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, and we know you’re dying to take a tour of everything they saw. So, here we go…

1) Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV)

Even though Louis is roving around Johnson Space Center in our Space Exploration Vehicle, its intended destination is quite different. The SEV will be used for in-space missions and for surface explorations of planetary bodies, including near-Earth asteroids and Mars!

2) Robonaut

Harry and Robonaut bonded during their visit to Johnson Space Center for the filming of their music video. This robot will help humans work and explore in space. Working side by side with humans, or going where the risks are too great for people, robots will make it so we never get ‘dragged down’!

3) Partial Gravity Simulator & Space Station Mockup Bike

You can find Niall floating around in our Partial Gravity Simulator, aka POGO, in the new music video. This tool is used to provide accurate simulations of reduced gravity. Astronauts use this for training and to learn how to perform tasks in space.

While Niall floats with POGO, Liam is training on the International Space Station Mockup Bike, aka CEVIS. This bike provides aerobic exercise and is used to countermeasure the harmful effects of exposure to microgravity while on the space station.

4) Orion Spacecraft

The Orion spacecraft will be the first of its kind that will carry humans to deep space and to Mars! It will be the safest, most advanced spacecraft ever built, and Harry, Niall, Louis and Liam all got to check it out.

5) T-38 Jets

Flying these T-38 jet trainers are an important part of preparing to be an astronaut. Flying and landing them acts as a real-life simulation for practicing spacecraft operations. They can even fly at supersonic up to Mach 1.6, and can put their pilots through more than seven Gs! 


Concept for the movie Rotten Seeds. My Photo-shop skills are very limited so I made a model then some quick green screen, and bingo lol. Well you get the idea. I will be doing two more to see what you guys like the best. Thats how we are making this whole movie, you guys tell us what you want to see.

Follow us all the way to the theater.

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T-45A Goshawk

A T-45A Goshawk executes a turning rejoin during a recent formation flight over South Texas. The T-45 is a twin-seat, single-engine jet trainer and is the only aircraft in the Navy’s inventory used specifically for training pilots to land aboard aircraft carriers.