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Mar 25, 2010 1:19 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

North Pole-South Pole flights test greenhouse gas

A plane outfitted to measure greenhouse gases has taken off from Colorado on the first leg of a 24-day mission that will take it back and forth across the Pacific Ocean from the Arctic to the Antarctic.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder is managing the three-year project. The current mission is the third out of five.

The Gulfstream V flew from a Boulder-area airport to Anchorage, Alaska, on Wednesday.

From Anchorage, it will fly over the northern polar region, then to Hawaii, Fiji, New Zealand and the southern polar region before retracing its path to Alaska and returning to Colorado in mid-April.

The plane is owned by the National Science Foundation. It cost about $80 million including modifications and instrumentation.

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