Global Air Charters (GAC) NASA worked with NASA to bring the NASA Crew-2 members from Houston, Tex., to Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
NASA enlisted a contracting company to source transportation of NASA Crew-2. Two weeks before the mission, GAC was contacted for pricing and availability. After confirming GAC had a flight crew available and a jet, the scheduling team booked the flights.
Chief Pilot Michael Vanacore-Netz and his crew flew Gulfstream GV N280PH said it is an honor and a privilege to transport the Crew-2 astronauts. GAC has had the opportunity to transport astronauts before to various locations. However, this flight was even more exciting for our crew since they experienced Kennedy Space Center in a way few others have.
Watch the video below to see our newly renovated Gulfstream GIV-SP N171JC, flown by David Avila and Hannah Fasiang, arrive at Kennedy Space Center with the Crew-2 team.
Sky-High Aspirations with NASA Crew-2
This mission was incredibly inspiring for Vanacore-Netz, who aspires to join NASA in the future. Vanacore-Netz is working towards his master’s degree in Space Studies and plans to apply to NASA and go to space. Additionally, Carly Davidson (GAC First Officer) is studying astronomy and has applied to a space studies program with the hope of working for NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).
On the Ground at Kennedy Space Center
Landing on the runway at Kennedy Space Center is a unique experience for our crew. Shuttles returning from space have landed on the runway for decades. This land is revered as hallowed ground by many in the aviation community. As a result, very few people have the opportunity to land there, let alone exit the aircraft. After safely transporting the NASA team to the space mission, our crews were able to get out of the jets and take pictures of where space shuttles landed. Everyone felt a mix of honor and joy while taking in the moment. “It was a big deal to have the opportunity to experience this,” Vanacore-Netz said.
GAC’s History with NASA
Our flight crews have had opportunities in the past to fly NASA and ESA astronauts. Whether in Europe, Russia, or the Hawthorne Training Facility in Long Beach, Calif., our teams have always enjoyed the experiences. The pilots and attendants that were a part of these missions think of the passengers as friends and family. Furthermore, everyone on the Global Air Charters team is privileged each time we transport NASA personnel for training or missions. “It’s a huge honor and always a great experience to get these inspiring individuals where they need to be,” Vanacore-Netz said. “We look forward to working with NASA again.”
Crew-2 was set to join the Expedition, 65 crew, on the International Space Station (ISS) for SpaceX. Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), Akihiko Hoshide (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), and Thomas Pesquet (European Space Agency) boarded the SpaceX Crew Dragon for a six-month science mission. Additionally, the Crew Dragon safely delivered Crew-2 to the ISS a day after liftoff on April 23, 2021. Crew-2 relieved Crew-1 after a hand-off period. In short, our flight crews look forward to continuing the relationship with NASA.
Since its inception, NASA scientists have found significant innovations and knowledge in aerospace since then. Its rich history of pushing the boundaries of science and reaching for more has helped humanity to its current technology and understanding of space and our planet. Today about 18,000 civil servants, contractors, academics, and commercial partners work together to expand knowledge for the good of all. Furthermore, NASA studies our climate, the sun, our solar system, and more from 20 centers and facilities nationwide. In addition to exploration efforts, NASA encourages STEM education in K-12 schools and an interest in aeronautics.