Stunning Aerial Tour of the Arctic

Enjoy this tour of the Arctic and Greenland, courtesy of the pilots of IceBridge, a six-year NASA mission to survey the ice at both of Earth’s poles. These views come from NASA’s P-3B aircraft, and the video is a selection of some of the best footage from the forward and nadir cameras mounted to the aircraft taken during IceBridge’s spring deployment over Greenland and the Arctic Ocean.

This airborne mission is collecting radar, laser altimetry, and other data on the changing ice sheets, glaciers, and sea ice of the Arctic and Antarctic. It is the largest airborne survey of Earth’s polar ice ever flown, and it will provide an unprecedented three-dimensional view of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and sea ice. These flights will provide a yearly, multi-instrument look at the behavior of the rapidly changing features of the Greenland and Antarctic ice.

Data collected during IceBridge will help scientists bridge the gap in polar observations between NASA’s Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) — in orbit since 2003 — and ICESat-2, planned for late 2015. ICESat stopped collecting science data in 2009, making IceBridge critical for ensuring a continuous series of observations.

Find out more about the mission and see more images and videos at the Operation IceBridge website.

Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004. She is the author of a new book on the Apollo program, "Eight Years to the Moon," which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible. Her first book, "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond.

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