Research Flight 09 from Hawaii to Alaska was particularly exciting because of the added support that HIPPO received from NASA's Global Hawk aircraft. The Global Hawk is the lastest advancement in atmospheric research conducted by an aircraft. With the ability to fly up to altitudes of 65,000' (19.8 km) and with a range of 30 hours, this unmanned aircraft is bound to enhance the study of our atmosphere.
While flying on its first 24-hour flight, the Global Hawk flew a similar flight path as the GV to collect data with similar instruments, but at higher altitudes, which expands the data sets that the HIPPO crew collected during their flight.
Can you count how many dips the GV performed during this flight by looking at the banner image?
HIPPO Project Manager, Pavel Romashkin, reported "On RF09 we have seen a couple of large container ships, sailing West. Over the Alaskan peninsula the weather was fairly clear and a vast snow covered land was before us, looking cold even from 13 km above. Meandering rivers and snow capped mountains looked as if there has never been a human in there, yet there are the U.S. military stationed there at all time! Now those are some tough people. Further in the flight the GV turned East and cruised above a vast Alaskan and Aleutian mountain ranges. Flowing glaciers and endless mountain peaks, rugged and intimidating, were a spectacular sight in the fading daylight, casting long shadows on snow covered mountain lakes."