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Your planet. Our mission.

At the Science Directorate at NASA’s Langley Research Center, we translate atmospheric discovery into better solutions to protect the planet Earth and its people. We monitor the Earth’s vital signs from land, air and space with a fleet of satellites and ambitious airborne and ground-based observation campaigns. We develop new ways to observe and study the Earth’s interconnected natural systems with long-term science data records.

Core Capabilities

Science research at Langley, specifically in atmospheric science, can trace its beginnings to the Center’s aeronautical studies, and then later, in atmospheric dynamics, atmospheric chemistry research, and research emphasis to the environment. The Science Directorate identifies four critical areas of research that supports its mission.

Lidar Remote Sensing
We utilize Lidar technology on satellites and aircraft to learn more about our atmosphere, what’s in it, and how it’s changing.
+ View the Lidar StoryMap
Radiation and Climate
Understanding what’s changing our climate – and the implications for our planet.​
Atmospheric Composition
We study the variations in and processes that affect aerosols, clouds, and trace gases, which influence climate, weather, and air quality.
Air Quality
We observe pollutants around the world and provide scientific data used study the impact on human health and agriculture.
SD Superheroes

Meet our team of scientific superheroes on a mission to save the planet. We are committed to delivering science that is balanced between Research & Analysis, technology development, airborne science and flight development. We create essential global data records utilized by the international science community.

Our work has shaped how scientists study the Earth and our atmosphere, and makes a difference in people’s lives around the world every day — from farms to our national parks, from today’s response to natural disasters to tomorrow’s air quality, from the Arctic to the Amazon.