The NASA DC-8 Flying Laboratory is a highly modified Douglas DC-8 jetliner that serves as a flying science laboratory under NASA’s Airborne Science Program. Operating for over 25 years from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California, this aircraft has executed a variety of Earth science missions across six continents, including ice field studies in Antarctica. Its missions cover a wide range of scientific fields, such as archaeology, meteorology, and biology, focusing on activities like sensor development, satellite sensor verification, and data collection for space vehicle launches and re-entries. The DC-8 has been instrumental in campaigns like the AS-CENDS for atmospheric CO2 measurement and detailed studies of pyrocumulonimbus clouds. As it ages, there are considerations for potential replacements, with the Boeing 767-200ER and U.S. Navy P-8 being top contenders due to their capabilities and efficiencies.