air traffic control towers

-Romeo 359 (three-five-ni-ner), contact Iceland approach on 118.1
-Going to 118.1, Romeo 359, good evening.
- Iceland approach, Romeo 359, level Eighteen thousand.
- Romeo 359, Iceland approach, turn left heading two three zero, descend and maintain ten thousand.“
-Left to two three zero, down to ten thousand, Romeo 359
-Romeo 359, turn right heading zero six zero, descend and maintain six thousand, slow to two two zero knots.
-Right to 060, down to 6,000, slowing to 220 knots, Romeo 359
-Romeo 359, intercept the localizer runway two eight right, cleared ILS two eight right.”
-Cleared ILS two eight right, Romeo 359

(invented approach guideline based on actual SEP/SOP)

A Journey of Eight Years

We’re taking time to highlight our progress and accomplishments over the past 8 years. Join our historical journey!

Obama Visit to NASA in 2010 

President Barack Obama visited our Kennedy Space Center in Florida to deliver remarks on the bold new course the administration is charting for America’s space program. During a speech at the center, President Obama said, “I believe we can send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to Earth. And a landing on Mars will follow. And I expect to be around to see it.” R  

Commercial Crew

Our Commercial Crew and Cargo Program is investing financial and technical resources to stimulate efforts within the private sector to develop safe, reliable and cost-effective space transportation systems. This program has allowed us to continue to reach low-Earth orbit, even after the retirement of the Space Shuttle Program. In the coming years, we will once again launch U.S. astronauts from American soil to the International Space Station through this commercial partnership.  

Revamping KSC: Vehicle Assembly Building

Our Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at Kennedy Space Center served through the Apollo and Space Shuttle Programs, and is now undergoing renovations to accommodate future launch vehicles…like our Space Launch System (SLS) rocket that will carry astronauts to deep space destinations, like Mars. Already, shuttle-era work platforms have been removed from the VAB to make way for our advanced heavy-lift launch vehicle, SLS.  

Revamping KSC: Pad 39B

For the first time since our Apollo-era rockets and space shuttles lifted off on missions from Launch Complex 39 at our Kennedy Space Center in Florida, one of the launch pads is undergoing extensive upgrades to support our 21st century space launch complex. At launch pad B, workers are making upgrades to support our Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and a variety of other commercial launch vehicles. .

Commercial Resupply Program

Our commercial partnerships with companies like SpaceX and Orbital ATK are allowing us to find new ways to resupply the International Space Station. Orbital ATK’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft is shown being captured using the Station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm. Packed with more than 5,100 pounds of cargo and research equipment, the vehicle made Orbital ATK’s fifth commercial resupply flight to the station in October 2016.  

Pluto Flyby

After a seven-year journey, our New Horizons spacecraft arrived at dwarf planet Pluto. It captured this high-resolution enhanced color view of the planet on July 14, 2015. The image combines blue, red and infrared images taken by the craft’s imaging camera. Pluto’s surface sports a remarkable range of subtle colors, enhanced in this view to a rainbow of pale blues, yellows, oranges, and deep reds. Many land forms have their own distinct colors, which tell a complex geological and climatological story.   

Juno at Jupiter

Juno’s 2011 launch brought it into orbit around Jupiter. This composite image depicts Jupiter’s cloud formations as seen through the eyes of Juno’s Microwave Radiometer (MWR) instrument as compared to the top layer, a Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem image of the planet. The MWR can see several hundred miles (kilometers) into Jupiter’s atmosphere with its largest antenna. The belts and bands visible on the surface are also visible in modified form in each layer below.  

Orion EFT-1

As we strived to make deep-space missions a reality, on Dec. 5, 2014, a Delta IV Heavy rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral carrying our Orion spacecraft on an unpiloted flight test to Earth orbit. During the two-orbit, four-and-a-half hour mission, engineers evaluated the systems critical to crew safety, the launch abort system, the heat shield and the parachute system.  

 Building of SLS

Meet the Space Launch System, our latest rocket system and see how it stacks up (no pun intended) to earlier generations of launch vehicles. While we engaged commercial partners to help us reach low-Earth orbit, we also were able to focus on deep-space exploration. This resulted in the creation of SLS, the world’s most powerful rocket and the one that will carry humans to deep-space destinations, like Mars.  

Small Satellite Technology

Our latest generation of small satellite technology represents a new way of advancing scientific research and reducing costs. These small sats are part of a technology demonstration that were deployed from the International Space Station in December 2016.   

Technology Development Organization

In 2013, we created a standalone technology development organization at NASA. Why? This new organization was an outgrowth of President Obama’s recognition of the critical role that space technology and innovation will play in enabling both future space missions and bettering life on Earth. The President’s most recent budget request included $4 million per year for our Centennial Challenges prizes. This program seeks innovations from diverse and non-traditional sources and competitors are not supported by government funding. Awards are only made to successful teams when the challenges are met. Throughout this administration (2009 – 2016), more than $6.5 million has been awarded to winners. 


Did you know that many technologies originally designed for space exploration are now being used by the general public? Yes, there’s space in your life! We have a long history of transferring technology to the private sector, things we like to call NASA Spinoffs. From enriched baby formula, to digital camera sensors…you may be surprised where this technology came from. 

 Space Station Extended to 2024

In 2014, the Obama Administration announced that the United States would support the extension of the International Space Station to at least 2024. This gave the station a decade to continue its already fruitful microgravity research mission. This offered scientists and engineers the time they need to ensure the future of exploration, scientific discoveries and economic development.  

Year in Space Mission

Former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko spent a year in space to help us understand the impacts of long-duration spaceflight on the human body. The studies performed throughout their stay will yield beneficial knowledge on the medical, psychological and biomedical challenges faced by astronauts that will one day travel to Mars. Scott Kelly was a particularly interesting candidate for the job, as he has a twin brother. While Scott spent a year on the International Space Station, his brother Mark spent the year on Earth. Comparing test results from both subjects will provide an even deeper understanding of the human body and how it reacts to the space environment.  

EPIC Earth Images

From one MILLION miles away, our EPIC camera on the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite returned its first view of the entire sunlit side of Earth in 2015. Because of this spacecraft, you can now see a daily series of images of our home planet! These images are available 12 to 36 hours after they are acquired. 

James Webb Space Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope represents a giant leap forward in our quest to understand the universe and our origins.  The successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, JWST is designed to examine every phase of cosmic history: from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang to the formation of galaxies, stars, and planets to the evolution of our own solar system. More: 

Green Aviation

Our commitment to advancing aeronautics has led to developments in today’s aviation that have made air travel safer than ever. In fact, every U.S. aircraft flying today and every U.S. air traffic control tower uses NASA-developed technology in some way. Streamlined aircraft bodies, quieter jet engines, techniques for preventing icing, drag-reducing winglets, lightweight composite structures, software tools to improve the flow of tens of thousands of aircraft through the sky, and so much more are an everyday part of flying thanks to our research that traces its origins back to the earliest days of aviation. Our green aviation technologies are dramatically reducing the environmental impact of aviation and improving its efficiency while maintaining safety in more crowded skies, and paving the way for revolutionary aircraft shapes and propulsion. 


History is about to repeat itself as the Quiet Supersonic Technology, or QueSST, concept  begins its design phase to become one of the newest generation of X-planes. Over the past seven decades, our nation’s best minds in aviation designed, built and flew a series of experimental airplanes to test the latest fanciful and practical ideas related to flight. Known as X-planes, we are again are preparing to put in the sky an array of new experimental aircraft, each intended to carry on the legacy of demonstrating advanced technologies that will push back the frontiers of aviation.  


Blazing the trail for safely integrating drones into the national airspace, we have been testing and researching uncrewed aircraft. The most recent “out of sight” tests are helping us solve the challenge of drones flying beyond the visual line of sight of their human operators without endangering other aircraft. 

Solar Dynamics Observatory

Our Solar Dynamics Observatory, which launched in 2010, observes the sun in unparalleled detail and is yet another mission designed to understand the space in which we live. In this image, the sun, our system’s only star seems to be sending us a message. A pair of giant filaments on the face of the sun form what appears to be an enormous arrow pointing to the right. If straightened out, each filament would be about as long as the sun’s diameter—1 million miles long. Such filaments are cooler clouds of solar material suspended above the sun’s surface by powerful magnetic forces. Filaments can float for days without much change, though they can also erupt, releasing solar material in a shower that either rains back down or escapes out into space, becoming a moving cloud known as a coronal mass ejection, or CME.  

Curiosity Launch and Landing

There are selfies and there are selfies—from a world more than 33 million miles away. When the Curiosity Rover launched on Nov. 6, 2011, to begin a 10-month journey to the Red Planet, who knew it would be so photogenic. Not only has Curiosity sent back beauty shots of itself, its imagery has increased our knowledge of Mars manyfold. But it’s not just a camera; onboard are an array of scientific instruments designed to analyze the Red Planet’s soil, rocks and chemical composition. 

Astronaut Applications

On Dec. 14, 2015, we announced that astronaut applications were open on USAJOBS. The window for applications closed on Feb. 18 with a record turnout! We received more than 18,300 applications from excited individuals from around the country, all hoping to join the 2017 astronaut class. This surpassed the more than 6,100 received in 2012, and the previous record of 8,000 applicants in 1978.  


Asteroids are a part of our solar system and in our quest to learn more about their origins, we sent the OSIRIS-Rex, the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer, to rendezvous with comet Bennu and return a sample of the comet to scientists here on Earth. Along the way, the mission will be multitasking during its two-year outbound cruise to search for elusive “Trojan” asteroids. Trojans are asteroids that are constant companions to planets in our solar system as they orbit the sun, remaining near a stable point 60 degrees in front of or behind the planet. 

 Habitable Zone Planets

In December 1995, the first exoplanet (a planet outside our solar system) was found. Since then, our Kepler mission has surveyed the Milky Way to verify 2,000+ exoplanets. On July 23, 2015, the Kepler mission confirmed the discovery of the first Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone. Not only that, but the planet orbits a sun very much like our own. 

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space:

Kansas Tower, this is Whisky India November Golf 401 ready for takeoff. 

Whiskey India November Golf 401, line up and wait via Runway 22, left. It’s gonna be a fifteen minute wait until takeoff. 

Roger, Kansas Tower. Line up and wait via Runway 22. 

Or get drinks with me next time you’re in Kansas city and I’ll let you cut in line and leave right now. 

Negative, Kansas Tower. Whiskey India November Golf 401 in line and waiting for proper takeoff. 

You sure know how to sweet talk a guy, Captain Novak. 

Affirmative, Kansas Tower. 


Kansas Tower, this is Whisky India November Golf 401 requesting weather conditions at the Kansas City airport. 

Welcome back Whiskey India November Golf 401. Weather conditions are fair. Not a cloud in the sky and crosswind at five miles an hour. Perfect weather for a date. What’s your ETA?

Thank you, Kansas Tower. We’ll be arriving in twenty-seven minutes. We’ll be stopping for fuel and heading straight to Chicago. 

You did that on purpose didn’t you, Cas?

 Apologies, Kansas tower. You’re signal appears to be blocked. How do you hear me?

Loud and clear, Captain Novak. You’re cleared to land. 

Keep reading


Two former radar operators have revealed how a UFO travelled 120 miles in less than EIGHT SECONDS, That’s a staggering 54,000 Miles per hour !

Jim Carey and Ike Barker (above) have given their first in-depth interviews since the incident at RAF Bentwaters, in Suffolk - hailed as the world’s best documented UFO case. They were on duty in the air traffic control tower when the unidentified target was tracked on radar during a spate of bizarre sightings in late December 1980. On December 26, a small team of security police officers reported seeing a triangular shaped craft land in Rendlesham Forest, just outside the base.

Meanwhile, reports came in over their radios that the UFO was firing beams into the weapons storage bunkers, which housed the biggest stockpile of nuclear missiles in Europe at that time. Halt (bottom right) later filed an official report to the UK Ministry of Defence - dubbed the ‘Halt Memo’ - giving details about the case, which was released under the Freedom of Information Act.

NASA: 2016 Look Ahead

The work we do, and will continue in 2016, helps the United States maintain its world leadership in space exploration and scientific discovery. Here’s an overview of what we have planned for the coming year:

Our Journey to Mars

We’re developing the capabilities needed to send humans to an asteroid by 2025 and Mars in the 2030s. Mars is a rich destination for scientific discovery and robotic and human exploration as we expand our presence into the solar system. Its formation and evolution are comparable to Earth, helping us learn more about our own planet’s history and future.

Work and Research on the International Space Station

The International Space Station is a unique place – a convergence of science, technology and human innovation that demonstrates new technologies and makes research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. In 2016, we will continue our groundbreaking research on the orbiting laboratory.

Returning Human Spaceflight Launches to American Soil

Our Commercial Crew Program is working with the American aerospace industry as companies develop and operate a new generation of spacecraft and launch systems capable of carrying crews to low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station. Commercial transportation to and from the station will provide expanded utility, additional research time and broader opportunities of discovery on the orbiting laboratory.

Studying Our Earth Right Now

We use the vantage point of space to increase our understanding of our home planet, improve lives and safeguard our future. In 2016, we will continue to monitor Earth’s vital signs from land, air and space with a fleet of satellites and ambitious airborne and ground-based observation campaigns.

Fostering Groundbreaking Technology Development

Sustained investments in NASA technology advances our space exploration, science and aeronautics capabilities. Our technology development also supports the nation’s innovation economy by creating solutions that generate tangible benefits for life on earth. In 2016, we will continue to invest in the future of innovation.

Breakthroughs in Aeronautics

Thanks to our advancements in aeronautics, today’s aviation industry is better equipped than ever to safely and efficiently transport all those passengers to their destinations. In fact, every U.S. aircraft flying today and every U.S. air traffic control tower uses NASA-developed technology in some way. In 2016, we will continue making these breakthroughs in aeronautics.

Discoveries in Our Solar System and Beyond

This year we will continue exploring our solar system and beyond to unravel the mysteries of our universe. We are looking to answer key questions about our home planet, neighboring planets in our solar system and more!

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We’re With You When You Fly

Did you know that “We’re With You When You Fly”? Thanks to our advancements in aeronautics, today’s aviation industry is better equipped than ever to safely and efficiently transport millions of passengers and billions of dollars worth of freight to their destinations. In fact, every U.S. Aircraft flying today and every U.S. air traffic control tower uses NASA-developed technology in some way. Here are some of our objectives in aeronautics:

Making Flight Greener

From reducing fuel emissions to making more efficient flight routes, we’re working to make flight greener. We are dedicated to improving the design of airplanes so they are more Earth friendly by using less fuel, generating less pollution and reducing noise levels far below where they are today.

Getting you safely home faster

We work with the Federal Aviation Administration to provide air traffic controllers with new tools for safely managing the expected growth in air traffic across the nation. For example, testing continues on a tool that controllers and pilots can use to find a more efficient way around bad weather, saving thousands of pounds of fuel and an average of 27 minutes flying time per tested flight. These and other NASA-developed tools help get you home faster and support a safe, efficient airspace.

Seeing Aviation’s Future

Here at NASA, we’re committed to transforming aviation through cutting edge research and development. From potential airplanes that could be the first to fly on Mars, to testing a concept of a battery-powered plane, we’re always thinking of what the future of aviation will look like.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space:

The more time I spend around furries, the more the whole thing confuses me.

How does the whole carnivores vs. herbivores thing work? Are there certain animals who it’s acceptable to kill and eat, and if so, where is the line drawn? What level of sapience is needed not to be acceptable dinner? What makes the pig on your plate different from the one two tables down from you? Is everyone just an omnivore now? Did all carnivores become vegetarians? How many murders are by carnivores who were just hungry for what they were made to eat? And how terrible must race relations be in a world where there could literally be someone eating someone of your race a few feet from you?

Speaking of race relations, how bad does it get when you bring aquatic animals into the equation? Is there like a big-time tension between animals that can’t swim and animals that can’t leave the water? What do flyers think about it? How often do they get killed by planes and helicopters? Do they have to wear headsets that let them communicate with air-traffic control towers for public safety reasons? Do you need a flying license? Are there birds who don’t fly because they’re lazy? While we’re on birds, how utterly horrifying must the concept of omelettes be to birds?

What about bugs? A fly only lives 24 hours, how fucked up must their lives be knowing that it’ll be over in what amounts to a blink of an eye for pretty much everyone else? What if they’re actually really productive workers because of how short their lifespans are, and there are a bunch of really old turtles who basically have literally thousands of generations of the same family of flies working for them because they work so hard? How low of a wage can you get away with paying a fly since they’re literally going to be dead tomorrow?

How does fashion work? Clothes that fit a fox certainly won’t fit a giraffe, and the giraffe’s outfit won’t fit on a sparrow. Does everyone have to get their clothes custom-tailored? How expensive is that? How hard must it be to shop if there aren’t a lot of your species in the area? And given everyone has fur and whatnot covering everything up, is public nudity more acceptable since a full wardrobe of custom clothes would be expensive as hell? Does that make the mere act of wearing clothes a status symbol? Also how the fuck do you wear pants with a tail? Speaking of tails, how meticulously do they clean them? After all, for a lot of folks, that thing is literally dragging on the ground behind them all day, getting covered in dirt and grime and whatever’s on the sidewalk. Are tail coverings a thing for furries? Because they probably should be. Though I imagine it’d be pretty embarrassing to basically wear a tail condom 24/7.

Is size ever an issue? Do elephants and other huge animals ever get charged with manslaughter for stepping on a rabbit or a squirrel? Because that has to happen every now and then. How ghettoized must furry towns be with how different houses and stores and everything must need to be made based on the species of its inhabitants? I can’t imagine a mouse would want to pay for the space a horse would need, and I’d bet that horse wouldn’t be comfortable in the mouse’s home. Hell, even different species have issues, I can’t imagine a great dane would be happy in a house made for a schnauzer.

How fucking stressed out must their doctors and nurses be? It’s like all the stress and work and pain of being a hospital doctor or nurse, mixed with the vast required knowledge of a vet, and instead of loved-but-ultimately-expendable animal companions, your patients are living, self-aware people who have opinions and have to understand and consent to medical procedures.

Do sheep shear themselves and sell the wool? Do they make their own furniture? What other animals leverage their natural assets? And are there certain roles that certain types of animals typically have, like the sloths from the Zootopia trailer? Are most pilots, drivers, chauffeurs, etc. horses since they have a cultural history of travel? Are most engineers beavers? Are most police dogs since they’re good at tracking things? And if so, how big of an obstacle is the whole colorblind thing?

National Aviation Day!

Today, August 19, is National Aviation Day! You might wonder why we’re celebrating National Aviation Day, let us tell you…

First, did you know that EVERY U.S. commercial aircraft and every U.S. air traffic control tower has NASA-developed technology on board? It’s true! Here at NASA, we’re invested in aeronautic research. Today’s air transportation system is an integral part of the U.S. and global economies. 

It’s the primary mechanism for connecting countries across the world through moving people, as well as goods and services. You feel the impacts of aviation and the air transportation system everyday. Just about every product produced and purchased today has been touched by aviation in some way. Aircraft transport 17.7 billion tons of freight every year. While you may not have flown today, something you needed did.

Our aviation experts are dedicated to improving the design of airplanes so they’re more Earth friendly – less fuel use, lower pollution, less noise around airports. We also work with the Federal Aviation Administration to provide new tools to air traffic controllers for improving efficiency and reducing delays.

So, celebrate National Aviation Day with us! Spread Your Wings, take a photo, post it today and tag #SpreadYourWings and/or #NationalAviationDay. We may even pick your photo to highlight on our NASA web page!
BREAKING: Here Are The Chilling Details Of How The Germanwings Co-Pilot Intentionally Crashed The Plane

Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin explained the actions Andreas Lubitz took to deliberately “destroy” an Airbus carrying 150 people.

A French prosecutor on Thursday laid out the chilling details, based on a transcript of the final 30 minutes of a cockpit voice recorder, of how Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz intentionally flew an Airbus carrying 150 people into the Alps.

Brice Robin said at a news conference that for the first 20 minutes, the captain of the plane and Lubitz spoke in a cordial, normal fashion with each other and there was nothing unusual about the conversation.

After a flight attendant prepared for the flight’s arrival in Düsseldorf, the pilot asked Lubitz to take control. There was a sound of a chair being pushed back and a door being closed, which indicated that the captain had left the cockpit to presumably use the restroom.

“At this point the co-pilot is the only one in the cockpit,” Robin said. “So it’s while he’s alone that he has somehow manipulated the buttons on the flight monitoring system to accelerate the plane’s descent. I repeat, he was alone at the helm of this plane.”

Robin reiterated that the action of starting the aircraft’s descent at that particular altitude could only be done deliberately and that it was not automatic.

The captain was then heard calling Lubitz to regain access into the cockpit using the internal communication system.

“We hear several cries of the pilot asking to access the cockpit,” Robin said. “Through the intercom system, he identifies himself, but there is no answer; he knocks on the door, but receives no response from the co-pilot.”

There were sounds of “normal breathing” from inside the cockpit up until the final point of impact, which indicated that Lubitz was alive. Air traffic controllers from a control tower in Marseille began asking for a distress signal, but when there was no response it meant that the flight became a priority compared to every other flight at that point, Robin said.

Alarm systems were triggered, indicating the proximity of the ground to everyone on board. Violent blows to break down the cockpit door were also heard, presumably by the captain trying to get back into the cockpit. But the door was reinforced, according to international security norms to protect against terrorist acts, Robin said.

The sound of the plane’s first impact was heard, which meant it could have glanced or hit something before the final impact. No distress calls or mayday signals were made by the co-pilot despite several calls from the control tower.

“The most likely interpretation in our view is that the co-pilot, through deliberate abstention, refused to open the cockpit door to the chief pilot and used the button which controls loss of altitude,” said Robin.

In the last eight minutes the aircraft went from 10,000 to 12,000 meters to virtually 2,000 meters. The mountain it hit was between 1,500 and 2,500 meters.

“He used this button to lose altitude for reasons that are totally unknown to us at the moment,” said Robin, adding that his actions could be analyzed as “a deliberate attempt to destroy the aircraft.”

Robin said the passengers became aware of what was going on only at the last moment because the aircraft was very large and the passengers were not near the cockpit.

“We hear screams only in the very last moments before the impact. The screams are in the last instance,” he said.

“Death was instantaneous,” Robin said, because the aircraft was going 700 kilometers an hour before hitting the mountain.

Source: Tasneem Nashrulla for Buzzfeed News