NASA plane conducts atmospheric studies over DC in Baltimore

WASHINGTON, June 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A NASA aircraft will fly over the I-95 corridor from Washington at Baltimore and Hampton, Virginiain support of an atmospheric campaign in the mid-Atlantic region between July 5 and July 16, 2022.

The P-3 four-engine turboprop aircraft, based at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginiawill fly 5 days during the 12 day period at altitudes of 1,000 to 10,000 feet.

Each flight during the campaign will include a low pass at 1,000 feet over I-95, two spiral runways, ascending and descending, above Baltimore and a spiral track on Greenbelt, Maryland.

Additional passes during each flight will include a 1,000 foot pass over the Chesapeake Bay and a spiral runway above Hampton, Virginia.

The P-3 can be tracked in real time at NASA Airborne Science Program Tracker. Look for the airplane icon labeled NASA P-3 (N426NA). Additionally, flight updates will be available through the Facebook Wallops and Twitter sites. The day before a flight, Wallops will display the estimated time the P-3 aircraft will fly over the I-95 corridor and Hampton.

The P-3 aircraft will carry instruments collecting atmospheric data on varying surface types such as urban, rural, vegetation and water to support a variety of science projects. The flight path was selected to match ground-based instrumentation and previous NASA science flights. This allows scientists to compare the data with other instruments and time periods.

The flights are part of the Students Airborne Science Activation (SaSa) program coordinated by NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California.

This summer, the first student participants in the SaSa program will spend eight weeks gaining hands-on experience with all the components of a scientific research campaign.

SaSa’s mission is to expand the ethnic and racial diversity of earth science researchers. The program is designed for freshmen and sophomores enrolled in minority-serving institutions to participate in an authentic NASA field research campaign.

Students from Howard University in Washington; University of Maryland Baltimore County, Coppin State University and Morgan State University – all three in Baltimore, Maryland; University of Maryland Eastern Shore at Princess Anne, Maryland; and Hampton University in Virginiaparticipate in the inaugural SaSa class.

To help retain students for careers in the geosciences, SaSa aims to make its participants feel welcomed and supported in the field. The program offers several types of mentorship, discussions of barriers encountered, and tools that have helped others overcome challenges to remember in STEM, professional development, and networking opportunities.


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