NASA T-38 aircraft to fly over Washington D.C. metro area on April 5, 2012.

Image: NASA/Jim Ross NASA, in cooperation with the Federal Aviation…

Image: NASA/Jim Ross

NASA, in cooperation with the Federal Aviation Administration, will conduct training and photographic flights on Thursday, April 5, over the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Two T-38 training jets will fly approximately 1,500 feet above Washington between 9:30 and 11 a.m. EDT to photograph the area.

T-38 aircraft have been used for years to train pilots. Years before the space shuttle would glide home to a safe touchdown on runways in California and Florida, astronauts pitched the noses of T-38 jet trainers toward the same runways to find out what it would look like to land a spacecraft in such a way.

The T-38 remains a fixture for astronaut training more than 30 years later because the sleek, white jets make pilots and mission specialists think quickly in changing situations, mental experiences the astronauts say are critical to practicing for the rigors of spaceflight.

Source: NASA.gov

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