Monday, April 26, 2010

NASA's Global Hawk Completes 28-hour GloPac Science Flight

NASA's Global Hawk completed its longest science flight to date April 24, touching down shortly before 5 a.m. PDT at Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California after a 28-hour and 36-minute flight to the Arctic.

NASA and Northrop Grumman partnered to return this Global Hawk Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrator to flight under NASA operation. NASA and the science community will use this aircraft for high-altitude, long-duration Earth science missions. (NASA photo / Carla Thomas)

The NASA Global Hawk Pacific, or GloPac, campaign is the first Earth Science mission to be conducted on the aircraft. The Global Hawk's ability to autonomously fly long distances and remain aloft for extended periods brings a new capability to the science community for measuring and observing large areas of the Earth. Ten specialized instruments will be installed in the aircraft to explore the trace gases, aerosols, and dynamics of the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. The instruments will also validate sensors aboard NASA's Aura Earth-monitoring satellite.

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