WASHINGTON (WJZ)—Don’t panic if you see large planes flying unusually low over Maryland roadways next week. It’s all part of a major plan by NASA to help study air pollution over major cities.

Derek Valcourt explains where you’ll be seeing some of those low-flying planes.

The study will focus on air pollution over many of Maryland’s major roads, from Baltimore’s beltway, to the 95 corridor, even over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

This is no ordinary plane, it’s a specially fitted NASA aircraft designed with equipment to measure air pollution levels in flight. And starting next week the skies over Maryland will become a pollution detection playground for the plane and for NASA scientists.

“The public I think is very interested in knowing where air pollution problems are the largest, and then they have the ability to make their own decisions about their own activities and times and places they would like to avoid,” said Dr. James Crawford, NASA atmospheric scientist.

Maryland’s Department of Environment already has six pollution monitoring stations on the ground, but they’re spread out and only can tell you pollution levels in the immediate area.

On the other hand, NASA satellites already monitor air pollution across the globe, but those readings have their own problems.

“But you can’t really tell from the satellite data itself whether that pollution is somewhere higher in the atmosphere or down near the surface,” said Dr. Kenneth Pickering, NASA atmospheric scientist.

That’s where these special planes come in.

 They’ll fly low over busy roadways collecting data and then fly in spiral patterns over the six ground monitoring stations Maryland already has in place, helping NASA scientists to determine how much air pollution is down where we breathe.

 “It’s a challenging mission,” said Rich Rodgers, NASA research pilot. “One of the most challenging because we are doing it over the top of Washington, D.C. and Baltimore this summer.”

NASA pilots are now warning Marylanders to be on the lookout as their planes fly as low as 1000 feet off the ground in the coming month.

Test flights will begin next week. NASA says in all they expect 14 science flights in July, taking their planes from Washington beltway over Baltimore and up to northeastern Maryland near the Delaware line.

The flight dates will be determined by the weather and announced by NASA by 5 p.m. the day before a flight.

Comments (104)
  1. happi_flyer says:

    This is NASa searching for a mission. If there isn’t space exploration and work to do, then they should all save us some money and close down these feel-good missions. They cost us too much money.

    1. Mark Matis says:

      James Hansen says this is essential to NASA’s mission! If they don’t do it, he won’t be able to continue getting all those illegal gifts and money he has taken:

      1. havanabrownsam says:

        You are unbelievably brilliant! You should be writing for the Washington Examiner!!! We need another Byron York… !

    2. Chuck says:

      You know what’s funny? I work in a bioscience building in the Houston Medical Center, where a NASA-funded Center for exploring aerospace biomedical issues related to a manned trip to Mars has just taken up most of the floor. Mars??? We can’t even get a man in orbit anymore. This place is opulent, with all the bells and whistles installed during the build-out. Money problems? What money problems?

  2. aubreyfarmer says:

    Maybe NASA should talk to the Air Force and ask them to stop spraying us day after day with chemicals. Are we seeing the implementation of programs for population control? What you say! Well you might want to read some of the strategies John P. Holdren the current science czar recommends in his book Ecoscience. Just keep watching the skies. All of those funny looking clouds left behind by military aircraft aren’t condensate. Condensation dissipates. These clouds linger and slowly spread out in a thin layer until the entire sky becomes hazy. Say whatever you like, I have seen this on numerous occasions.

    1. bonzomatic says:

      Put your tin foil hat back on, your brain might fall out…
      1.Contrails have been happening since before the jet age.
      2. People live longer now than they ever have, so if this is a means of population control, they really suck at it…

      1. Jekyll Island says:

        bozo, people may live longer but the rates of getting sick or having a chronic disease has more than doubled.
        As for contrails, if you look at the higher elevations those trails dissipate fairly quickly. the “trails” at lower levels tend to hang around much longer and seem to go on for over miles.

        It could be that at lower levels in the atmosphere that is how steam dissipates or it could be something else.

        Your kind is the type that believes that our own government has our best interest at heart and it would never do anything to harm us.

        There is another kind of person who can’t believe what the government has already done to us and that no one seems to care.

        You may tell people to put their tin foil hat on while others will tell you to keep your head buried in the sand while keeping your rear end high and accessible for insertion by your government.

        But I’m willing to bet you like that anyway

      2. Kerry Crandall says:

        You are the idiot. Do a little research on chemtrails, then see if you want to spout your uninformed drivel.

      3. deanzna says:

        chemtrails not contrails do your homework!!!

      4. lightseeker says:

        bonzomatic (is that a long name for “bonzo”?). I dare you to watch “What in the World are they Spraying”, and then continue to not accept the REALITY of chemtrails (contrails dissipate rather quickly, whereas chemtrails remain in the sky for hours).

        Full length YouTube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jf0khstYDLA

      5. Jeremy Ron says:

        lol maybe you need a tinfoil hat, cause comtrails are normal to a planes use however chemtrails are not read a lil before u spout rubbish out your mouth and know what your talking about!!!

  3. Robert says:

    I get it. Air moves around, so in order to test the air quality, we need to fly airplanes around.

    This is either a stupid waste or something more sinister.

  4. Brad says:

    THis is no good. What’s going to be there conclution with all this data? We (NASA) needs more funding. And you (general public) need to stop driving your SUV’s and buy $40,000 electric cars and turn off your air conditioners

  5. Bruce says:

    OK, so we’re going to use aircraft that pumps more pollution in the air than any other mode of transportation… to measure air pollution. Makes much more sense than using a helium filled baloon to me.


  6. befitz says:

    ” We have found, through this project, that levels of CO2 are much higher than originally… what’s that? they installed the probes BEHIND the engine exhaust?!”

    1. Harold G says:

      They’re going to extract every last nickel out of us before they implode our economy and set up the NWO. All of us will be paying a CO2 tax, as though CO2 is a bad thing. But then with so many of us having received a public school education, millions think Sodium Chloride are two scary words when all they refer to is common table salt. And, as for CO2, plants need it in order to survive and has always been a component of the air we breathe. I remember the song “Tax Man” in which a lyric refers to taxing air. Unbelievable that we’re now at that point. This is sick, sick, sick.

  7. VaDave says:

    Whaddya wanna bet that the EPA will use the NASA study in an atempt to implement new regualtions!!!

  8. Zexufang says:

    NASA – cannot go to the moon; but we can sure fly airlpanes!

    And it IS a foregone conclustio0n that (gasp) the city CO2 levels and air particulates will be above normal”..

  9. We Are Change says:

    Just wondering if they are going to be testing for Aluminum Dioxide, Strontium and Barium Salts which are being dispersed as aerosols in a program called ‘Stratospheric Aerosol Geo-engineering’. This is a process also known as cloud seeding or what most people refer to as CHEMTRAILS!

    Yes folks, they are real. just look up the more than 1000 registered patents and you will see that they are spraying you with ALUMINUM, BARIUM & STRONTIUM!

    1. Fred Jones says:

      Radiation is good for you. — Ann Coulter

  10. Avery Won says:

    Make no mistake, whatever they find or “Claim” to find it’s nothing but a pretext to regulate you in every way – the global warming hoax was exposed as something they made up. It was actually over 4 deg warmer 1,100 years ago and it was a good thing. Two years ago when AGW collapsed, they started claiming we were maybe too clean and we needed smokestacks dotting the oceans pumping out pollution 24/7??? – That didn’t fly, so now they are back to air pollution is the reason they get to decide what you get to do, keep or get.

  11. Joecool says:

    Obama already did this over NYC with Air Force One, didn’t he?

  12. dh3873 says:

    Obama says to NASA; “get me some good data to support my plans to raise your electricy rates ‘sky high’ through global warming and I will fund your stupid department, if you don’t, i’ll fund someone who will”. You know, that is exacly how it works in DC around the beltway.

  13. bill bixby says:

    Air pollution could be causing illness? Hmm, I thought it was just smoking that caused cancer. It certainly isn’t all the pesticides sprayed on the food or the pesticides in the tobacco so no reason to go after companies such as Mansanto who make the poisons. There is more hypocrisy going on in this country world all in their attempt to usher in their beloved godless one world govt.

  14. Chris Jensen says:

    Who is going to test the air behind the jets?

  15. Lauren Barnes says:

    Yes BEHIND the engine exhaust. How do I know? One of these sniffing planes flew over my house yesterday.

    I’m in Missouri. I would bet these planes have been operating for a lot longer than what we are being told, and I’d be very suprised if they weren’t sniffing for radiation leaks in the air from our nuclear plants.

    We already know the majority of nuclear plants in the US are leaking into our ground water. If you missed that bit of good news just search “Tritium leaks found at many nuke sites”.

    Good luck III

  16. Bill says:

    We’ve been hit with wave after wave of radiation from Fukushima due to the Westerly winds that continuously sweep across the USA. Will the NASA plane check for radioactive isotopes in our air? Of course not. Doing so would actually be a service to the American people. So, what’s the intent of these flyovers? I suspect we’re being desensitized to having the presence of our government in our faces 24/7.

    1. Mark Matis says:

      You might want to remove your lips from Al Gore:
      The fashionable thing these days is to brew the fresh hot BLSCK tea.

  17. david says:

    Could someone please pass the Fukishima, my Kool aid is a bit tart this morning

    1. Jeremiah says:

      If ignorance is bliss, David, you are one happy idiot.

  18. BlownfuelCoupe says:

    Do us All a favor, go fly this thing over China and park it there.

  19. BlownfuelCoupe says:

    I know, how about using this valuable tool to tell us what actually is in all those Chem-Trails I am seeing this morning.

  20. Forrest Higgs says:

    wonders if he is the only one who despises NASA’s assumed role as enabler for enviroNazis?

  21. just another peasant says:

    I wonder what they are really doing?

  22. J.Harnes says:

    NASA made Americans proud.

    After federal officials ended the key mission of manned space flight and turned NASA over to environmental advocates to promote their agenda it is beginning to look like a total waste of money. I want my old NASA back!

    After the next election I hope the new federal administration fires the ADVOCATES who have decided for our nation that the role of NASA needed to be changed to meet their agenda!

  23. Tom Francis says:

    If you work for NASA and you are not trying to figure out how to get us to Mars, then please quit your job ans stop wasting my money. Con I get some adults in charge, please?

  24. GovWaste says:

    So this is costing us billions of dollars to tell us something we already know, wow money well spent, not!

  25. Lou says:

    Funny that NASA is flying the Navy’s P-3 aircraft which emits very high levels of smoke. Didn’t NASA know this before they selected this aircraft for the test? They should have asked the Navy!

  26. Nate says:

    oh my god, government everywhere. clean air, clean water, why oh why government would you do those awful things to us??? oh my god, oh my god, government everywhere, building levees and highways, why would you do those awful things to us??? oh my god, oh my god, government every where. guaranteed college loans and democratic elections, why would you do those awful things to us????

    all of you people make me laugh, but keep it up, we need all the laughs we can get these days.

    1. Lukas says:

      Yeah, “we need all the laughs we can get these days”, alright. Why? Perhaps because “government everywhere” is a concept that can be taken too far, further than is good for the health of the country, economically or otherwise. Just wait, my friend, until the reality hits you that the money has run out because government is indeed everywhere, even where it’s unnecessary and downright superfluous to be present.

      1. Nate says:

        ask people with chronic respiratory or cardiovascular problems due to ozone whether or not the government should play a role in managing pollutant levels which are found at unhealthy levels in many major cities. ask children with asthma if they are okay with not being able to play outside some days because air quality is too poor. ask physicians who are seeing the skyrocketing rates of asthma where they think its coming from. please tell me again the health of our citizens isn’t part of the government should be doing, and ill ask you why we have a military or FDA.

    2. Rabbit says:

      Nate, it looks like you’re the only one laughing around here. While your head is in the sand, keep your rear end as high as you can so that your beloved government can find it easily. Perhaps, they could use their probe to make sure it’s good and clean in there. And after they’re finished, you can have them wipe it for you, too.

      1. Nate says:

        Thanks for the advice !

  27. Dman says:

    After all the propaganda about the ‘planet’ dying, people educated in public schools run by nitwits still buy SUV’s that are supposedly doomsday machines.

    You can lead a horse to water, but then you’ll have to bash its brains in.

    Heads up.

  28. NowSwimBack says:

    So this is why Obama is shutting down the shuttle program.

    Global warming nonsense

  29. barack capone says:

    maybe NASA is putting James Hansen the NASA scientist for hire in the plane, you know the guy who got 1.2 million from environmental groups who are using the provable fudged data to extort more money from poor and middle class people in their man made global warming scheme. Another Obama progressive style attempt at crony capitalism .Maybe the plane can fly next to the plane Obama flies his personal trainer from Chicago every week in. This way Obama can control the outcome of the data using the bought and paid for george soros funded guy to give the epa false data to go around the law, and we can lose more energy jobs,their intent all along

  30. Barry Bin Inhalin says:

    Well at least they haven’t re-puposed a Shuttle or two for this job…I’m sure they’re worried about the potential cost overruns.

    What a galactic WASTE of $.

  31. Hazel Burke says:

    That plane is a doozy. I can’t even get Mr. B to go in for a new lawn mower. I’m going to make his favorite tonight. Stuffed pork chops and all. That’s part of my plan to get the new lawn mower. What’s that mist? Cough. Wheeze. cough hack hack a;liseeeeeeu ri;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;ikkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

  32. Amayzen May says:

    Obvious military psych op as NAZA continues to masquerade as a “civilian” “space” agency. It was always pretty lame but now it’s become just a pathetic shell of what it use to be. Shut it down and exile Willie Holden to China—there’s 20 million Muslims there that he can “reach out to.”

  33. Brandon says:

    Chemtrails–And for the guy who said “people are living longer now.” Yes, but life expentancy is going down now. Population control is a huge Bilderberg topic and you better believe that the elites have a plan for that too; I’m sure it’s very Nazi-ish as well.

  34. John says:

    How and why did NASA get into the air quality business anyway? What’s that all about? This helps to explain why American astronauts now ride into space on Russian rockets. NASA is totally FUBAR.

  35. havanabrownsam says:

    Does this mean that countries with the majorities of the world’s fastest-growing religion will be piloting these NASA aircraft??? After all, didn’t our world-class leader demure our space program to be inclusive of lesser-techologically-advanced ‘cultures’? I hope they’re ready to ‘cough” when the TSA tells them to…

  36. Tina says:

    I can’t wait to hear Obama’s presser on this one. “The just in to NBC, the Administration has just announced that NASA has identified a new superbug hovering 1000 feet above most major cities. According to new NASA Director Professor Irwin Corey, there is an unequivocal umbilical between this new strain of virus and global warming that unless addressed immediately could kill or maim 100 million American citizens”.

    Truth here? NASA, you’ve been rendered eunuch status by Obama. Am I being negative? You bet and you should be too if you voted for this man. Being lied to at such an elementary degree by Obama himself since he was candidate Obama?

    Say, Professor Irwin Corey, are you interested in assuming POTUS for the balance of Obama’s 17 month term? I know you passed away but you couldn’t possibly do any worse. I know you would be present more times than Obama. Professor, you have my vote.

  37. Jmac5280 says:

    Welcome to the Obama’s progressive USSA

  38. Jo Vean says:

    Must be really cool to work for NASA! Can you imagine?

  39. Jimmy says:

    Obama is “LORD MAITERYA” The ILLUMINATI New Age Messiah…

    Watch Video For PROOF… ***OBAMAMAITREYA.COM ***


  40. normsrevenge says:

    What a sad joke.

    Extraterrestrial beings that visit must marvel at the stupidity of a space org. that worries more about dirty air samples than its core mission as it was chartered.. space exploration

  41. ertdfg says:

    Lets see, their temperature monitoring stations are often positioned by paved area, AC exhaust, or airports … or modified based on ones that are to get the readings they want.

    Any bets their “equipment to measure air pollution levels” is positioned right behind the plane’s exhaust?

    Or did you expect me to trust you this time; when you’ve been caught using flawed, fictional, or heavily modified data in the past for your “science’?

  42. txsense says:

    The big question here is are the people conducting the tests, or responsible for analyzing the results from Goddard and Hansen’s team, who is about as honest as a used car salesman when it comes to integrity of science.

  43. dugstr says:

    Just don’t let James Hansen anywhere close to the project. He’ll corrupt the data.

  44. Montford John Greenwood says:

    I’m sure since our government lies at every turn, they’re telling the truth about this. —That’s called sarcasm.

  45. Wizzid says:

    Based on the request by President Obama that NASA encourage Arab countries to participate in their missions, will we have Arab pilots at the controls of these planes? And will they have been trained to land?

  46. ignats says:

    Nasa is now involved with Muslim outreach and air quality testing.
    How about building some new spacecrafts and putting a colony on the moon? instead.
    Obama proves once again he is a no vision dumb ass
    The Bell Hop is running the Hotel

  47. Gibbs Bentley says:

    “The last official act of any government is to loot the treasury.” ~ George Washington — http://911essentials.com

  48. San Diego Steve says:

    As a pilot, I hope that NASA considers the hazard caused by low-flying drones which lack pilots to look out for traffic. These drone flights will also impact traffic at big commercial airports. It is complex problem which has probably not been fully explored and addressed by the geniuses at NASA. Of course, NASA is trying to develop projects like this in order to save the jobs of the relatively worthless “drones” who work there. It is very doubtful that this project has any public benefit in relation to cost, which, if NASA does it, will always be 500% of what it would be in the private sector. NASA should die and be buried as soon as possible.

  49. John C says:

    If the government is concerned about air quality, they should stop whoever it is from spraying the chem trails.

  50. TonyD says:

    What are they going to do? Redistribute air pollution in the name of fairness?

  51. Todd says:

    Obama is, without a doubt, THE worst President we ever had! Why should we have expected anything more? The guy NEVER had a REAL, full-time job in his life. He was a “community activist” (formerly called Communist agitator) for most of his adult life or a government hack. Neither of these jobs even REMOTELY prepares one for the position of mayor, let alone President of the U.S. …….

  52. stephen says:

    more government spending ,for government control, mean while china’s profits from the u.s. and pollutes the planet 10 times

  53. rightcall says:

    NASA: Nasty Air Search Association

  54. Sinclair says:

    There is no need to fly a plane down our highways to get this data. It would be easier and cost far less to drive a motor vehicle with a sensor down the highway or even install sensors along highways for that matter. NASA flying planes down highways??? They are lying about the true purpose obviously.

  55. Bill Fisher says:

    There is something fishy about this. NASA has no business investigating air quality. Probably some linkage to another DHS/TSA spying mission like the one two weeks ago in WV, KY and OH.

  56. Mike says:

    Won’t these planes emit a lot of pollution themselves?? Kind of backwards if you ask me…creating pollution to study pollution…

  57. virginia says:

    While many of you are making ignorant remarks about NASA, you should know that this program was in effect over 20 years. The original program was one special laboratory C-130 stationed at Ames Research at Moffett Field in Mt. View CA. It was the only one of its kind, and flew all over the world doing reaearch on climate , volcanos, the Black Forest and even as far away as Australia. All these expeditions were done under contracts for Jet Propulsion Laboroary and other prestigious research companies. The projects paid for themselves!!! There was always a Senior engineer (physicist) a flight crew and various other technicians aboard.. Learn your fact before you spout off!

  58. BOB says:

    How are they going to detect the TRUE AMOUNT of Air Pollution caused by BS when they will be flying over while the Congress and Senate are on Vacation??

  59. DonS says:

    Whether pro or con on any given subject; It is amazing to me how uneducated you the general public are. Yet, you are willing to open your mouth and let everyone know. Amazing!

  60. Mike says:

    wow, i have lost hope for the people who commented on this article…
    i hope everyone is trolling

  61. Jeremy Ron says:

    I find it funny how they don’t mention F.E.M.A.s involvement in this at all on this story also….

    This is not a good thing,if F.E.M.A. is involved in any aspect of this they aren’t just looking for any old pollution! F.E.M.A.who 1st brought us the use of US Military acting here on US soil which is against everything Americans hold Dear as well as the illegal unarming of Katrina victims Legal Arms by pure force and intimidation at the Gun Point of the US Military In Citizens Faces!! Of course this was all done while people were still clinging to roof tops desperately preying for help to arrive but they was too busy taking away Americans Legal Guns!!

    Either they are testing the levels of the chem-trails they are loading on us or they are doing military reconnaissance to find out areas of interest and control, so that all those troops/arms being reported moving all over the east coast have some intel to follow up on!?! Why are military weapons and vehicles being moved all over the east coast with F.E.M.A.’s help or direction and why are they being moved in tractors and other public means of transportation rather than military convoys..maybe they don’t want people to know what’s going on..!? the only answer i can come up with why the military would leave such weapons virtually unprotected in the transport process!?! or they want them to get stolen, either way you spin it IT ISN’T GOOD FOR ANY OF US!!!

    WAKE UP AMERICA THIS SHI IS FOR REAL!!! Do some research yourself!

    1. Jeremy Ron says:

      We are probably looking at the pretenses into the east coast being ground zero for the next H.A.A.R.P. experiment!!!

    2. Jeremy Ron says:


      and i quote”Maryland Emergency Management Agency contacted Harford County to alert them to the coming science flights and the county notified county employees.” this is a F.E.M.A. branch!!!

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