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NASA's lab in the sky

NASA's flying science lab cruises the skies over fracking fields and oil rigs to measure their impact on climate change.

Last updated: 20 May 2014 15:04
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On this week's episode of TechKnow, Phil Torres goes airborne to learn more about a NASA program called SEAC4RS   (Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds, and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys) and a fleet of jets that are being utilised as flying laboratories to study pollution, climate change and the atmosphere.

It may look like a commercial jet, but activity inside the DC-8 is nothing like passengers are used to. The scientists are in charge, telling the flight crew where to fly and at what altitude. They seek out clouds and areas of turbulence, making for a bumpy ride. They also instruct the pilot to circle back through areas of interest, sometimes making multiple passes over a specific location.

Also on this edition of TechKnow, Rachelle Oldmixon travels to Alabamba to look at bamboo and find out how the town is using it to come up with green solutions. Lance Rake, Professor at University of Kansas and Industrial designer, demonstrates how to make a bike made of bamboo and says: "What we would like to do is use what is here to create a better future. The thought of being able to come back here and see this shop filled with people that are making these bikes, how rewarding is that".


TechKnow  can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Monday: 2230; Tuesday: 0930; Wednesday: 0330; Thursday: 1630.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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