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NASA Sends ‘Airborne Science Lab’ To St. Croix For 45 Days Of Test Flights

FREDERIKSTED — NASA’s “airborne science lab” deployed to St. Croix on Tuesday after more than six months of preparation and instrument upload.

As part of the Convective Processes Experiment — Aerosols and Winds campaign, CPEX-AW, NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center prepared the airborne science laboratory for the 45-day deployment to the St. Croix airport with a series of test flights earlier this month.

“NASA is on St. Croix!” The Virgin Islands Port Authority said. “The National Aeronautics and Space Administration team will be conducting weather observations at the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport and on the north side of St. Croix. This is a first for the big island as NASA usually conducts this research in San Juan in this region. We are excited to have them here in the USVI!”

The campaign, which is a joint effort between NASA and the European Space Agency, aims to gather critical data about tropical convection processes. Instruments on NASA’s DC-8 will measure winds, aerosols, precipitation, and other conditions that influence convection from the west to east coast of the Atlantic Ocean near the Equator.

NASA’s DC-8, based at the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center Building 703 in Palmdale, California, is flown to collect data for experiments in support of projects serving the world’s scientific community.


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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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