THIS WEEK @NASA: Data Shows July 2023 as Hottest Month on Record, NASA Aircraft Flies High to Investigate Lightning

By  //  August 19, 2023

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ABOVE VIDEO: Find out why July 2023 was a record-breaking month, a high-flying NASA aircraft is helping to study lighting, and making landings safe for flights of the future … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!

Data Shows July 2023 as Hottest Month on Record

According to research by our Goddard Institute for Space Studies, July 2023 was 0.43 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than any other July in NASA’s record, and hotter than any other month in the global temperature record.

NASA and partner agency NOAA discussed this and our changing climate during a news conference. According to NASA data, the five hottest Julys since 1880 have all happened in the past five years. Learn more at

NASA Aircraft Flies High to Investigate Lightning

Researchers with the ALOFT project have been using NASA’s high-flying ER-2 aircraft to help them study lightning and its connection to the vast energy fields in our atmosphere. The ER-2 can fly above and as close to thunderclouds as safely possible to observe gamma-ray activity within thunderclouds and collect detailed data that can advance the study of high-energy radiation emissions from thunderstorms.

Wind Study to Help Future Aircraft Land Safely

Our AEROcAST flight campaign is a wind study that aims to help drones land safely on rooftop hubs called vertiports for future delivery of people and goods. The campaign uses drones, sensors, weather balloons, and other technology to measure wind at altitudes below 2,000 feet and collect other data to resolve unknowns that could hinder these types of flights. The campaign, which continues through this month, may also improve weather prediction.

NASA Seeks Experiment Ideas for TechRise Student Challenge

NASA is looking for middle and high school students across the country to submit experiment ideas to send on a high-altitude balloon or a rocket-powered lander test flight as part of the third TechRise Student Challenge. Led by NASA’s Flight Opportunities program and administered by Future Engineers, the challenge allows student teams to participate directly in designing and building experiments for suborbital flight. For more details visit

That’s what’s up this week @NASA