clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:


Meteorologists have an extra storm-tracking eye in the heavens as space shuttle Discovery orbits the Earth with an atmosphere-surveying laser machine in its cargo bay.

The shuttle is flying as far north as Hudson Bay and as far south as Cape Horn in order to cover as much of the world as possible with the $25 million laser device.Discovery's six astronauts planned more laser activity Monday, as well as jet firings for an engine exhaust study.

Through much of Sunday, the machine sent pulses of green light down on atmospheric pollutants and clouds, including Typhoon Kinna, which was swirling with 70 mph winds about 250 miles off the coast of Japan.

The laser pulses were bounced off storm clouds by remote control from Johnson Space Center and reflected back to the shuttle, where a telescope collected them for atmospheric scientists studying global climate.