This month, don’t be shocked if you see a NASA aircraft flying low over Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.
Officials say a four-engine turboprop P-3 aircraft at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia will collect atmospheric data five times between July 5 and July 16.
According to NASA, each trip will involve a 1,000-foot low-level pass over the Interstate 95 area. Each trip will also contain two ascending and descending spiral tracks above Baltimore and one spiral track over Greenbelt, Maryland.
NASA officials also say each flight will include a 1,000-foot pass over the Chesapeake Bay and one spiral track above Hampton, Virginia.
The plane can be tracked in real-time online at NASA’s Airborne Science Program Tracker. Look for the NASA P-3 plane icon (N426NA).
Updates will be posted on the Wallops Facebook and Twitter pages. Wallops will post the approximate time the P-3 aircraft will fly over the I-95 corridor and Hampton the day before each flight.
According to NASA, the aircraft will carry instruments that will collect atmospheric data across various surface types, including urban, rural, vegetation, and water, to support several scientific programs.