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A NASA Global Hawk rolls out at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Aug. 14, 2013, following a flight in a hurricane formation and intensification mission. Wallops, located on Virginia’s eastern shore, is NASA's principal facility for managing and implementing suborbital research programs.

NASA has been making trips to outer space for decades. Now the agency increasingly is focusing closer to Earth, exploring the value of unmanned aircraft systems (UASs).

NASA is working on ways to make UASs useful in our everyday lives. It has been two years since NASA scrapped the space shuttle program. Now the agency has a new goal—making UASs mainstream.

“While most people associate NASA and space, we also do a lot of aeronautics research, and that includes unmanned aircraft systems,” said NASA’s Kevin Rohrer.

Recently, NASA showed off various test models—from the smallest known as The Droid to the largest known as the Global Hawk. Today, they’re used for research flying into places too dangerous for pilots.

Image courtesy of NASA WFF.

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