NASA ER-2 Operations
The ER-2 is the atmospheric sciences reasearch model of the U-2S spyplane. The ER-2 pictured here is acutually the prototype TR-1, which was the "super sized" version of the U-2 spyplane. These images were created in 1999 and 2000 as part of a research project with the University of Wisconsin in Madison. The ER-2 typically flies missions around 65,000 feet, hence the need for full pressure suits.The plane is capable of flying much higher, and the actual mission altitude is dictated by the principle investigator (scientist).
Thanks also to the NASA crew chiefs and Lockheed Martin ground crew and Life Support personnel.