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NASA plans several low-altitude flights over major roadways

Sunday - 6/26/2011, 2:13pm  ET

WASHINGTON - A NASA air quality testing campaign will have a very large plane, flying very low over some major roadways, starting this week.

The flights could begin as early as Monday, June 27, and will end by July 31. NASA's P-3B, a 117-foot four-engine turboprop, will be flying at a low altitude, about 1,000 feet, above I-95 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

The planes will be flying between 8 a.m. And 6 p.m., but specific flight dates have not been schedule, and will be based on weather conditions. Specific flight times will be posted here the night before.

The planes will continue to Northeast Baltimore and continue to the Delaware State Line. The planes will also be flying over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. NASA says they don't want drivers to be startled by seeing or hearing the planes.

Each flight will follow the same route, shown in the map below:

The project is called DISCOVER-AQ (Deriving Information on Surface conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality), and is based out of NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.

WTOP's Adam Tuss contributed to this report. Follow Adam and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)