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NASA Langley Science Directorate
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What We Do

Scientists at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., live to explain the unknown, unravel the secrets, mysteries and joys of the everyday environment we all inhabit. We are protectors of our planet and our data can be used to help others to respond in responsible ways. We make observations about Earth and its atmosphere, and develop new and innovative ways of predicting threats to our environment.

Our research spans many decades of missions and projects that objectively provide scientific knowledge about our home planet. We study clouds and aerosols, radiation, changes in Earth’s climate and weather, and atmospheric chemistry from ground-level into the upper atmosphere. We develop advanced instruments and collaborate with scientific experts across the nation and the world.

The Chemistry and Dynamics Branch measures and models changes in every layer of Earth’s atmosphere.

The Atmospheric Composition Branch use laser-based systems called lidars (light detection and ranging) to study the atmosphere with high precision.

The Climate Science Branch uses comprehensive and sound scientific approaches to understand how the atmosphere is changing, how climate change works and how to predict these changes.

The Atmospheric Science Data Center provides reliable data that enables discovery and sound decision-making on air quality, climate and energy.

DEVELOP, part of NASA’s Applied Sciences Program, addresses environmental and public policy issues through interdisciplinary research projects that apply the lens of NASA Earth observations to community concerns around the globe. Bridging the gap between NASA Earth Science and society, DEVELOP builds capacity in both participants (students, young professionals, and career-transitioning professionals) and partner organizations to better prepare them to address the challenges that face our society and future generations.