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Bruce Anderson, senior research scientist at NASA Langley's Research Center, top center, reviews the day's mission with aircrew members and scientists during a preflight briefing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. The crew is flying on NASA's DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory to collect air samples from aged contrails in the wake of various commercial aircraft.
Bruce Anderson, senior research scientist at NASA Langley's Research Center, top center, reviews the day's mission with aircrew members and scientists during a preflight briefing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. The crew is flying on NASA's DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory to collect air samples from aged contrails in the wake of various commercial aircraft. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
Bruce Anderson, senior research scientist at NASA Langley's Research Center, top center, reviews the day's mission with aircrew members and scientists during a preflight briefing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. The crew is flying on NASA's DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory to collect air samples from aged contrails in the wake of various commercial aircraft.
Bruce Anderson, senior research scientist at NASA Langley's Research Center, top center, reviews the day's mission with aircrew members and scientists during a preflight briefing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. The crew is flying on NASA's DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory to collect air samples from aged contrails in the wake of various commercial aircraft. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
NASA scientists David Vangilst, left, and Rich Moore review flight information on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory during a research flight over Germany on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018.
NASA scientists David Vangilst, left, and Rich Moore review flight information on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory during a research flight over Germany on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
NASA scientist Jenny Ly records air sample measurements from sensors on NASA's Airborne Science Laboratory during a flight over Germany on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018.
NASA scientist Jenny Ly records air sample measurements from sensors on NASA's Airborne Science Laboratory during a flight over Germany on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
A NASA decal is displayed on an experiment module on the agency's DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory during a flight over Germany on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018.
A NASA decal is displayed on an experiment module on the agency's DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory during a flight over Germany on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
NASA's DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory pilots search for commercial aircraft during a research flight over Germany on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. The crew is taking air samples in the aged contrails of various aircraft with a range of engine models and fuel mixtures.
NASA's DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory pilots search for commercial aircraft during a research flight over Germany on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. The crew is taking air samples in the aged contrails of various aircraft with a range of engine models and fuel mixtures. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
Rich Moore, left, records flight data as Eddie Winstead monitors air sample measurements during a research flight over Germany on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018.
Rich Moore, left, records flight data as Eddie Winstead monitors air sample measurements during a research flight over Germany on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
Steve Koertge, a navigator on NASA's DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory, reviews flight information during a mission over Germany on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018.
Steve Koertge, a navigator on NASA's DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory, reviews flight information during a mission over Germany on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
NASA's DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory flies through the aged contrail of a commercial airliner during a research flight over Germany on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018.
NASA's DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory flies through the aged contrail of a commercial airliner during a research flight over Germany on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
NASA workers Adam Webster, right, and Tim Moes monitor flight  progress at the mission control console during a research flight over Germany on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018.
NASA workers Adam Webster, right, and Tim Moes monitor flight progress at the mission control console during a research flight over Germany on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
German Aerospace Center's Christiane Voigt relays cloud composition information to fellow scientists and crew during a flight over Germany on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018.
German Aerospace Center's Christiane Voigt relays cloud composition information to fellow scientists and crew during a flight over Germany on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
The National Air and Space Administration's DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory is inspected after a mission at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018.
The National Air and Space Administration's DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory is inspected after a mission at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — NASA and German Aerospace Center scientists flew across Germany on Wednesday to gather data that scientists hope will help lessen the impact of flight emissions on ground temperatures.

Research scientists from both agencies flew on NASA’s DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory to record air sample measurements taken from an array of sensors and intake valves on the “flying laboratory.”

The DC-8 flew in commercial flight corridors to test persistent condensation trails, or contrails, of various aircraft, engine types and fuel combinations.

Contrails form in aircraft exhaust at high altitudes because of low temperatures. These clouds of ice and soot create lingering cloud layers that can trap heat reflected from the earth’s surface, which then warms the ground at night.

The agencies are conducting flights in tandem through the skies over Europe to see how traditional jet fuel, blended with alternative fuels, changes contrails and potentially mitigates their environmental impact.

keller.mike@stripes.com

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