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It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s NASA’s Five Newest Airborne Campaigns!

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s NASA’s Five Newest Airborne Campaigns!

We’re not just doing research in space! From the land, the sea and the sky, we study our planet up close. Right now, we’re gearing up for our newest round of Earth Expeditions, using planes, boats and instruments on the ground to study Earth and how it’s changing.

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The newest round of campaigns takes place all across the United States – from Virginia to Louisiana to Kansas to California.

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The five newest missions will combine measurements from the ground, the sea, air and space to investigate storms, sea level rise and processes in the atmosphere and ocean.

Let’s meet the newest Earth science missions:

1. IMPACTS

The Investigation of Microphysics and Precipitation for Atlantic Coast-Threatening Snowstorms will start from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia to understand how bands of snow form during winter storms in the East Coast. This research will help us better forecast intense snowfall during extreme winter weather.

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2. ACTIVATE

Flying out of Langley Research Center, the Aerosol Cloud Meteorology Interactions over the Western Atlantic Experiment is studying how specific types of clouds over oceans affect Earth’s energy balance and water cycle. The energy balance is the exchange of heat and light from the Sun entering Earth’s atmosphere vs. what escapes back into space.

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3. Delta-X

Farther south, Delta-X is flying three planes around the Mississippi River Delta to study how land is deposited and maintained by natural processes. Studying these processes can help us understand what will happen as sea levels continue to rise.

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4. DCOTSS

Heading out to the Midwest this summer, the Dynamics and Chemistry of the Summer Stratosphere mission will study how thunderstorms can carry pollutants from high in the atmosphere deep into the lower stratosphere, where they can affect ozone levels.

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5. S-MODE

About 200 miles off the coast of San Francisco, the Sub-Mesoscale Ocean Dynamics Experiment is using ships, planes and gliders to study the impact that ocean eddies have on how heat moves between the ocean and the atmosphere.

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s NASA’s Five Newest Airborne Campaigns!

These missions are kicking off in January, so stay tuned for our updates from the field! You can follow along with NASA Expeditions on Twitter and Facebook.

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