NASA circles California for reasons unknown

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NASA's DC-8 Airborne Science laboratory is seen during a checkout flight over California's Mojave Desert in May 2012. The aircraft is sporting a number of probes supporting a large upload of science instruments installed for the Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry weather study. [Photo: NASA.gov]

Several residents of Southern California reported seeing a low flying plane at the end of last month flying repeatedly over the San Andreas fault line.  According to various reports, the plane’s call signs were “NASA817” and was seen zigzagging over the San Andreas fault line towards the end of July, which of course is a high profile earthquake zone.

NASA has yet to publically state exactly what it’s doing over the fault line. NASA has a variety of planes used as airborne laboratories that benefit the earth science community, carrying sensors to provide data and support augment NASA space missions.

The US Air Force has a variety of ‘spaceplanes’ and include X-37B which is currently on its 5th mission and has surpassed 500 consecutive days in orbit.  The plane was built by Boeing and is flown remotely.

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