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So long, Discover AQ!

I seem to have a talent for being at the right place at the right time to witness NASA’s pollution-sniffing P-3B aircraft pass over Maryland commuter routes. A couple weeks ago, I snapped a quick pic of the turboprop aircraft soaring north along I-95.

On Friday, while driving home, it happened again. Ergo, this final salute to the the first phase of the Discover AQ field campaign, which occurred at roughly 6 p.m. Friday afternoon as I was driving north on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, within sight of the Rt. 32 exit.

It appeared that the plane was slowly turning west. I turned of and headed west, toward home. Bizarrely, while driving north on Route 1, I saw the P-3B off to my left, apparently following the Interstate southward! I just can’t shake that P-3B.

Coincidence? Or do I just spent waaaay too much time commuting? Ironically, it is because there are so many of us motoring between the Baltimore-Washington corridor that Discover-AQ has lots of air pollution to measure.

The day before, one of my Goddard colleagues, Rebecca Roth, caught the P-3B on video as it passed over the Greenbelt, Maryland area.

Can you see it?

Can you see it?


NOW can you see it?

NOW can you see it?




Discover AQ P-3B (the blip above the gas station), heading south... farewell.

Discover AQ P-3B (the blip above the gas station), heading south... farewell.


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Discover AQ, 12 o'clock high!

photo of p3 aircraft flying over I 95

Much-magnified view of P-3B flying over Maryland July 14, 2011.



It’ a small world after all. Yesterday at around 5 p.m., I tweeted out the following message for Goddard:

NASA DISCOVER-AQ will conduct air quality flights over NE Maryland Thursday 7/14, 8am-4pm EDT. #MDsmogstudy go.usa.gov/Zle



This morning, 8:38 a.m., I was driving south on I-95, just a couple miles north of Rt. 32, and what to my wondering eyes should appear but the distinctive silhouette and quadraphonic exhaust plumes of a P-3B aircraft — the P-3B that NASA is using to sniff pollution over the region.

I grabbed my handy Canon digital Elph and snapped two photos before the craft roared overhead at low altitude, heading due north. I reckon it was 500 to 1,000 feet above the ground.

Check out the Discover AQ website for all the details on the mission.

Here is the actual “cockpit view” of what the camera saw outside my rolled-down car window:


photo of p3 craft flying over I 95
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OH AND DID I MENTION? All opinions and opinionlike objects in this blog are mine alone and NOT those of NASA or Goddard Space Flight Center. And while we’re at it, links to websites posted on this blog do not imply endorsement of those websites by NASA.

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