Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer, 3 March 2005.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society
NASA Acting Administrator Fred Gregory, centre, with the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer after its landing in Salina, Kansas, on March 3, 2005. Gregory is flanked by NASA's Associate Administrator for aeronautics Vic Lebacqz, left, and GlobalFlyer Crew Chief Philip Grassa, right. Pilot Steve Fossett and the experimental plane made history by safely completing the first solo, non-stop, non-refuelled around-the-world airplane trip - with help from NASA technology. The flight tested NASA's advanced experimental Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) transceiver called the Low Power Transceiver (LPT). As a side benefit, the NASA device allowed GlobalFlyer's mission control to communicate with Fossett for almost three days of flight through a live video connection.