NASA aircraft flies low over Chicago, NW Indiana collecting air quality data

A jet from off Dayton, Ohio, made low-level passes over Chicago, the south suburbs and Northwest Indiana before heading back to Ohio, according to FlightAware.

SHARE NASA aircraft flies low over Chicago, NW Indiana collecting air quality data
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A NASA DC-8 jet makes low passes over the Chicago area on Tuesday collecting data on urban emissions and their effect on air quality and climate.

Courtesy of Willie Gillespie

A NASA aircraft studying air quality and pollution flew at a low altitude Tuesday morning and afternoon across parts of Chicago and Northwest Indiana.

The aircraft, a four-engine DC-8 jet, took off from Dayton, Ohio, about 9:50 a.m. and passed through Chicago, surrounding suburbs and parts of Northwest Indiana, according to FlightAware, the aircraft tracking app.

The aircraft was scheduled to arrive back in Dayton around 6:15 p.m., according to FlightAware.

The approximately eight-hour flight is part of NASA’s “AEROMMA project.” From the end of June to the middle of August, the aircraft flies low over several cities to collect data on human-based pollution sources, according to NASA.

Other cities included in the project include Los Angeles, New York and Toronto. The DC-8, “the largest flying science laboratory in the world,” flies low over the cities to investigate urban emissions and the atmospheric chemical reactions that affect air quality and climate, according to a news release from NASA.

Those looking to follow the plane can do so on FlightAware, using the tail number N817NA.

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