A look at NASA’s iconic T-38 fleet as Tropical Storm Nicholas hits Texas Gulf Coast

With Tropical Storm Nicholas moving up the Texas coastline, NASA’s facilities in Houston have prepared themselves for the storm.

The iconic T-38 Talon originally went into service with the Air Force in 1961. Since then it has served as a supersonic jet trainer for new pilots, and a tool for astronauts to keep their skills sharp. NASA operates a fleet of 15 aircraft and all but one sport the classic NASA paint scheme.

During the Space Shuttle era, T-38s were famous for being the method of transportation for mission crews when they arrived at Kennedy Space Center. For commercial launches, crews now arrive on either one of NASA’s Gulfstreams or a chartered aircraft. The Talons have mostly been used for continued training and flights around points of interest for NASA, like before test flights of SpaceX’s Starship rocket in South Texas.

Which Tropical Storm Nicolas threatening Houston, NASA’s hanger that holds the astronauts’ jets has been filled with all of them.

Featured Image: NASA Astronaut Jessica Meir

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