NASA Expedition Lands in Costa Rica

March 5, 2004

AN international team of NASA scientists arrived in Costa Rica Wednesday during the third day of an expedition to unearth archeological secrets in Central America.

The scientists are traveling aboard a DC-8 equipped with the Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (AirSAR), which can “see” beneath treetops, through thin sand and below dry snow pack. This technology will provide aerial visuals of what lies below the forests of Central America, possibly providing evidence of ancient roads and Pre-Columbian human existence in the region.

In addition to cultural research, the scientists are studying biological diversity in collaboration with the NationalCenter for High Technology (CENAT).

Although the DC-8 is equipped as a flying laboratory, the mission used the National Hanger of Aerotransportation Investigations at JuanSantamaríaAirport as a temporary base for the afternoon.

Welcoming the flight were NASA administrator Sean O’Keefe, Minister of Science and Technology Fernando Gutiérrez, CENAT director Dr. Pedro León, and U.S. Ambassador John Danilovich.

NASA has embarked on the journey in an effort to accurately inventory Central America’s environment and archeology before they are destroyed by current human activity, officials said.

AirSAR is able to detect features such as fortifications, causeways, walls and other evidence of advanced human civilizations not discovered in ground data collection because of difficulties penetrating the forest terrain. This information will be used to understand how humans have interacted with their landscape in the past and present, NASA officials said.

After studying Central America, NASA scientists will go to the ice fields of South America’s Patagonia region and Antarctica to study the effects of climate change.

 

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

How to file a criminal complaint, or ‘denuncia,’ in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
686 views
Costa Rica
686 views

How to file a criminal complaint, or ‘denuncia,’ in Costa Rica

Caeli Chesin - March 22, 2019

In Costa Rica, a criminal complaint can report workplace harassment, a home invasion or sexual assault, among other crimes related…

Off the eaten path: Aroi Thai
Dining & Nightlife
800 views
Dining & Nightlife
800 views

Off the eaten path: Aroi Thai

William Ayre - March 22, 2019

Aroi Thai was the first Thai restaurant in Costa Rica. They started as a delivery-only service before opening a restaurant…

Costa Rica confirms measles cases in children of United States citizens
Costa Rica
3433 views
Costa Rica
3433 views

Costa Rica confirms measles cases in children of United States citizens

Alejandro Zúñiga - March 21, 2019

Costa Rica is enacting a National Surveillance Protocol after confirming two cases of measles, the Health Ministry announced Thursday afternoon.…