Campers Tour NASA DC-8

The NASA DC-8 aircraft recently completed a six-week study of snow and precipitation during NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement Cold-season Precipitation Experiment, or GCPEx.

During the GCPEx mission, the DC-8 airborne science laboratory was based at the Bangor International Airport in Bangor, ME and completed 13 data-collection flights over ground sites in Ontario, Canada.

The goal of GCPEx was to tackle a difficult challenge facing the upcoming Gobal Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite mission — measuring snowfall from space.

Read more about the completion of the GCPEx mission here:

Before returning to its home base in Palmdale, CA, the DC-8 played host to a group of elementary school students from the Challenger Learning Center of Maine.  These students were part of a February vacation camp designed to inspire them to pursue careers in math and science.

Mission Director Walter Klein (left) poses with Challenger Learning Center of Maine campers, staff, and chaperones next to the NASA DC-8 (Image Credit: Susan Jonason)

Challenger Center Students, staff, and chaperones climb aboard the DC-8 flying science laboratory at the Bangor International Airport (Image Credit: Susan Jonason)

Twenty-six student campers, along with ten challenger center staff and parents participated in the tour of the NASA DC-8.  The group learned  about NASA’s Earth and Airborne Science research, the GCPEx mission, and the DC-8 flying laboratory.  They heard first-hand what an amazing experience it is for the scientists, engineers, and pilots to fly all over the world in NASA research aircraft.

Inside the DC-8, students learn about the aircraft and its scientific missions all over the world (Image Credit: Jennifer Therrien)

Future pilot in the cockpit of the DC-8 (Image Credit: Jennifer Therrien)

For more information about the GCPEx mission, visit:

For more information about the Challenger Learning Center of Maine, visit: