What NASA's airborne missions will do in the next five years

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Washington, May 28 (ANI): NASA's new airborne science missions will investigate issues such as hurricanes, air quality, and Arctic ecosystems during the next five years.

The Earth Venture missions are part of NASA's Earth System Science Pathfinder program.

The small, targeted science investigations complement NASA's larger research missions.

In 2007, the National Research Council recommended that NASA undertake these types of regularly solicited, quick-turnaround projects.

This year's selections are all airborne investigations. Future Venture proposals may include small, dedicated spacecraft and instruments flown on other spacecraft.

Edward Weiler, associate administrator of the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, said: "I'm thrilled to be able to welcome these new principal investigators into NASA's Earth Venture series.

"These missions are considered a 'tier 1' priority in the National Research Council's Earth Science decadal survey. With this selection, NASA moves ahead into this exciting type of scientific endeavor."

The missions will be funded during the next five years at a total cost of not more than 30 million dollars each.

The selected missions are:

1. Airborne Microwave Observatory of Subcanopy and Subsurface.

2. Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment.

3. Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment.

4. Deriving Information on Surface Conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality.

5. Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel.

"These new investigations, in concert with NASA's Earth-observing satellite capabilities, will provide unique new data sets that identify and characterize important phenomena, detect changes in the Earth system and lead to improvements in computer modelling of the Earth system," said Jack Kaye, associate director for research of NASA's Earth Science Division in the Science Mission Directorate. (ANI)

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