May 6, 2010: National Aeronautics and Space Administration Dryden Flight Research Center Deployed Its Instrumented Research Aircraft, Earth Resources-2 Published May 6, 2021 Air Force Flight Test Center EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif -- As part of the national response to the Deepwater Horizon British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Dryden Flight Research Center deployed its instrumented research aircraft, Earth Resources-2 (ER-2) to the Gulf at the request of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NASA DFRC pilots flew the ER-2 to a temporary base of operations at Johnson Space Center’s Ellington Field in Houston, TX. The ER-2 would use its highly specialized equipment to collect detailed images of the Gulf of Mexico and its threatened coastal wetlands. Data collected by NASA’s ER-2 would be used to support spill mapping and document the condition of coastal wetlands before oil landfall. NASA operates two Lockheed ER-2 Earth resources aircraft as flying laboratories in the Sub-Orbital Science Program under the Agency's Science Mission Directorate. The aircraft, based at NASA Armstrong's Building 703 in Palmdale, CA, collect information about our surroundings, including Earth resources, celestial observations, atmospheric chemistry and dynamics, and oceanic processes. The aircraft also are used for electronic sensor research and development, satellite calibration, and satellite data validation. A derivative of the U-2 known as the ER-2 (Earth Resources 2), in NASA's white livery, is based at the Dryden Flight Research Center (now Armstrong Flight Research Center) and is used for high-altitude civilian research including Earth resources, celestial observations, atmospheric chemistry and dynamics, and oceanic processes. Programs using the aircraft include the Airborne Science Program, ERAST and Earth Science Enterprise. Landings are assisted by another pilot at speeds exceeding 120 miles per hour in a chase car.