Chicago Area to See Large NASA Plane Flying as Low as 500ft by Tuesday


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CHICAGO, IL – Brace yourselves, Chicagoans! A thrilling sight awaits as NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center’s DC-8 aircraft prepares to grace the skies, flying as low as 500 feet above the Windy City by Tuesday. 

The daring scientific venture, known as AEROMMA (Atmospheric Emissions and Reactions Observed from Megacities to Marine Areas), seeks to explore atmospheric emissions and reactions in diverse environments. 

According to NASA’s press release, the DC-8, hailed as the world’s largest flying science laboratory, will soar over the Chicago area on Monday and/or Tuesday during mid-morning to mid-afternoon. While the flyovers will be conducted at a safe altitude, the agency cautions residents that the experience will be “very loud.” Those sensitive to loud noises are advised to take necessary precautions.

The primary focus of the AEROMMA project is to study anthropogenic pollution sources beyond traditional transportation emissions. 

Researchers will investigate how everyday products like personal care items, cleaning agents, and coatings contribute to urban air pollution. These volatile chemical products, often refined from fossil fuels, can significantly impact air quality in major cities.

Collaborating with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center will lead the charge in conducting the airborne research. The DC-8 will take to the skies from the end of June through mid-August, targeting major urban areas on the east coast, including New York. Additionally, the project will collaborate with other air quality studies like STAQS (Synergistic Tempo Air Quality Science) to create a more comprehensive observing system.

To keep track of the high-flying endeavor, aviation enthusiasts and concerned citizens can follow the DC-8’s progress on by entering the tail number “N817NA.”


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