This year, five new missions are taking off to investigate our home planet. From coast to coast, these missions will take a closer look at everything from sea level rise to snowstorms, all based right here in the United States. About 200 miles off the coast of San Francisco, the Submesoscale Ocean Dynamics Experiment, or S-MODE, will use measurements from a research vessel and three planes – a King Air, a Gulfstream and a Twin Otter, to look at how swirling ocean eddies affect the movement of heat between the ocean and the atmosphere. Autonomous wave gliders and ocean gliders will dive below the surface of the water, to get a full picture of the ocean and atmosphere. Together, the mission will collect data about temperature, salinity and ocean velocity to get a better understanding of how small eddies affect the upper ocean. Traveling inland to the Midwest, the summer months can bring intense thunderstorms. Strong winds formed by these storms can overshoot the troposphere and reach higher in Earth’s atmosphere, injecting pollutants into the stratosphere, which can affect the ozone layer. Using an ER-2 plane flying up to 70,000 feet, the Dynamics and Chemistry of the Summer Stratosphere, or DCOTSS, mission will investigate how the pollutants reach the stratosphere and how their impact could change in the future. Farther south, the Mississippi River Delta is sinking as sea levels continue to rise globally. The Delta-X mission (no acronyms here) will combine measurements from two planes – a King Air and a Gulfstream – with measurements taken on the ground and in the water to study how and where soil is naturally transported and deposited by water. This can help researchers better understand how the coastal regions will be affected by rising sea levels. On the East Coast of the United States, the Aerosol Cloud Meteorology Interactions Over the Western Atlantic Experiment, or ACTIVATE, mission will look at how clouds in the marine boundary layer – roughly the 2 kilometers above the ocean – affect the water cycle. These cloud systems cover large stretches of the ocean and are not well-represented in climate models. ACTIVATE will use two planes – a Falcon and a King Air – to take measurements remotely and in situ, including releasing dropsondes through the clouds. Flying the same corridor, the Investigation of Microphysics and Precipitation for Atlantic Coast-Threatening Snowstorms, or IMPACTS, mission will use measurements on the ground, scientific balloons and two planes – the ER-2 and the P-3 – to measure snowstorms at all altitudes. IMPACTS is looking closely at the intense bands of snow that form inside clouds to improve forecasting of snowstorms in the future. Stay tuned for more as these five missions take off!