News & Events to Inspire STEAM Education

Air Pollution Fighting Jet Hits the Skies of California

Air Pollution Fighting Jet Hits the Skies of California

Feb 2, 2013

If the 1990′s environmentalism-inspired cartoon superhero Captain Planet could have a vehicle, he would most likely drive this one.  NASA is currently testing out an aircraft that looks like a fighter jet to fight one of Captain Planet’s biggest enemies:  air pollution.  The small jet took to the skies for the first time this Thursday over the Bay Area in Northern California and captured both ozone and greenhouse gases for its premier test.

Since air pollution isn’t just a problem on the local scale, NASA is building many aircraft in hopes of conquering this issue on a global scale.  This is also due to the fact that a jet stream, a current of air in the Earth’s atmosphere, can make pollution from Beijing travel to California, which makes the issue much more pressing internationally.

Air quality scientists do not currently understand the precise magnitude of the amount of particulates and other pollutants in the surface layer of the Earth’s atmosphere which is why there is such a need for this jet since it will be able to determine exactly that using an array of high-tech air quality measuring instruments.  The data collected will be used alongside ground-level air monitoring networks.  “This effort will greatly improve what we know about how air pollution forms and moves..” says Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District of NASA.

Needless to say, Captain Planet and his Planeteers would be proud.

To learn more, visit here.

To watch a video from ABC news about this amazing aircraft, click here.

The Captain Planet approved aircraft


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