Frederick Johnsen

NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA

(Phone: 661/258-2998)

Chris Rink

NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA

(VA Phone: 757/864-6786 or 864-6121)

NASA newsroom, Kiruna, Sweden (through 1/28/2000)

(Phone: 46-980-398-787, FAX 46-980-398-788)

John Bluck

NASA Ames Research Center, Silicon Valley, CA

(Phone: 650/604-5026 or 604-9000) E-mail:



KIRUNA, SWEDEN: One of NASA’s high-flying ER-2 aircraft, a civilian
variant of Lockheed’s U-2, completed its first science flight through
Russian airspace today in support of the largest international ozone field
experiment to date over the Arctic.

The six-hour flight passed southwest of Moscow and was closely coordinated
with Russian observers. Based at NASA Dryden’s Flight Research Center,
Edwards, CA, the single-seat aircraft carried instruments to collect data
for NASA’s SAGE III Ozone Loss and Validation Experiment (SOLVE). SOLVE is
managed by the Upper Atmosphere Research Program of NASA’s Office of Earth

Scientists are hoping the ER-2’s stratospheric measurements will help them
better understand the complicated chemistry involved with ozone loss. NASA
is working with the European Commission-sponsored Third European
Stratospheric Experiment on Ozone (THESEO) 2000. Research teams include
scientists from NASA, Europe, Russia, Japan and Canada.

Another NASA flying laboratory, NASA Dryden’s DC-8, also flew through
Russian airspace in conjunction with the ER-2. The DC-8 flew its first
mission over Russia’s Franz Josef Land during SOLVE’s first phase last

The NASA planes and the field experiments are based north of the Arctic
Circle in Kiruna, Sweden. A large hangar built especially for research,
“Arena Arctica,” houses the instrumented aircraft and the scientists.

Scientists have observed unusually low levels of ozone over the Arctic
during recent winters, raising concerns that ozone depletion there could
become more widespread as in the Antarctic ozone hole. Scientists also
hope to forecast when the Arctic ozone may return to normal.

“Handling all the hardware and coordinating the personnel, aircraft,
balloons and ground observations involved in the campaign is an immense
challenge,” said project manager Michael Craig of NASA’s Ames Research
Center, Silicon Valley, CA. More than 350 scientists, technicians and
support workers are involved in the experiment.

The third phase of the SOLVE field campaign ends in March.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Still photos and video footage of the ER-2
aircraft are available from the Dryden Public Affairs Office to support
this release. For photo prints or video dubs, please call Beth Hagenauer,
(661) 258-7960, or (661) 258-3449.

Photos of the ER-2 are also available on the Internet under
NASA Dryden Research Aircraft Photo Archive, Dryden News and Feature
Photos, URL:

More information (including a list of participating institutions) can be
found at:


(THESEO 2000) —,_Paul_A./solve_write.html

Some images taken by SOLVE mission members are on the Internet at: