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NASA Plane To Fly As Low As 1,000 Feet Over Maryland | Environment

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NASA Plane To Fly As Low As 1,000 Feet Over Maryland

Don’t be alarmed if you see a low flying plane soaring through the sky when driving on I-95, 295, or 695 between Baltimore and Washington D.C. from Thursday, June 30th to July 31st.

The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center located in Greenbelt, Maryland, is conducting low-altitude research flights ( a 117-foot P-3B research plane) as part of a mission to enhance the capability of satellites to measure ground-level air quality. The aircraft will perform 14 flights until July and will do wide corkscrew patterns, from 15,000, down to 1,000 feet.

“The aircraft will be sampling gases and particles in the atmosphere continuously as it climbs or descends over major highways over the 95/295/695 corridors flying as low as 1,000 feet. All equipment will be measuring pollution at different levels,” said NASA Project Scientist Dr. Ken Pickering.

About 127 million people live in counties where pollution levels still exceed national air quality standards established by EPA. For northeast Maryland, the summer heat and traffic often leave plumes of polluted air stewing over the highway- making the DC metro area one of the top 20 smoggiest metro areas in the nation.




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