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NASA Talks Future Flight

Satellites to track planes?

By Scott Budman
|  Monday, Mar 17, 2014  |  Updated 5:07 PM PDT
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NASA Talks Future Flight

Airplanes have long relied on air traffic controllers to help guide them and find them. Now, thanks to Bay Area technology, airports may soon get a boost from space.

Inside the NASA Ames’ air traffic control simulator, the first images of how space satellites might soon help those of us on the ground track airplanes are on display.

The technology could change the way we scan the airways.

Launched earlier this year, what NASA calls NextGen is a satellite that will aim not into the darkness of space, but instead into the blue sky, making it possible that future planes that are lost will have a better chance of being found.

It’s a collaboration between ground and space to better bring future flights home safely.

NASA also says satellites like NextGen will be able to track planes even when they're on the runway, making takeoffs and landings more efficient, so you'll spend less time waiting, and more time flying.

 

Scott will update you via Twitter: @scottbudman

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