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NASA’s Airborne Research Program set to take off over major U.S. cities

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BALTIMORE, MD—This summer, NASA will be flying aircraft over major cities across the U.S. to collect data on air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions as part of a NASA Student Airborne Research Program.

From June 17 to July 2, the planes will fly over Baltimore, Philadelphia, parts of Virginia, and California. They will be collecting data on carbon dioxide and methane, as well as nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, and ozone. The data collected will be used to improve air quality and climate data.

The aircraft, a B-200, will be flying at an altitude of 1,000 feet and will perform maneuvers including vertical spirals from 1,000 to 10,000 feet. They will also occasionally perform “missed approaches” at local airports, where the aircraft will perform a low-level flyby over a runway to collect samples close to the surface.

The NASA Student Airborne Research Program supports undergraduate interns and aims to validate space-based measurements. The data collected by the aircraft will be used to improve air quality and climate data. Glenn Wolfe, a research scientist and the principal investigator for the campaign at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said that the goal is for the data collected to help improve policy decisions that affect air quality and climate in the region.

This article was written with the assistance of AI and reviewed by a human editor.

Photo via NASA

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