When will MAIA launch?

MAIA launch is expected to occur in 2025. The mission is planned to last for at least three years.

What is an aerosol? I thought that meant hairspray.

In everyday terms, an aerosol is a substance – like hairspray or spray paint – under pressure in some kind of container, which is released as a fine spray. In atmospheric science, though, the term aerosol refers to tiny particles, such as dust or smoke, floating in the air.

If I live in an area MAIA will study, will my health data be used? How do I know my privacy will be protected?

Health providers and epidemiologists take the privacy of health records very seriously. Before epidemiologists receive funding to conduct a study, they must prove that they will protect the privacy of the health records they will use. NASA will not store health data used in the investigation; all health records will be protected by the epidemiologist conducting the study. When epidemiologists conduct a cohort health study, all the patients agree to participate beforehand. When general health data are collected for use in a study, personal information like names and addresses are kept confidential. Therefore, if your health data are used in the MAIA health studies, your name and other identifying information would never appear in the data sets that are being analyzed or in the published results.

Will wearing a mask protect me from air pollution?

According to the EPA, most masks will not protect you from particulate matter air pollution. Surgical masks or ordinary dust masks do not protect you against tiny PM particles. You must purchase a mask rated by NIOSH as N95 or P100 (this is printed on the mask) in order to screen out PM, and you must ensure the mask fits correctly (see this EPA-issued guide). Those with beards and children cannot be fully protected by these masks due to fit problems. Therefore, the EPA indicates that moving indoors during high pollution events is a much more effective strategy than wearing a mask.

What can I do to protect myself from air pollution?

In the United States, you can track the local air quality using AirNow, part of the Enivronmental Protection Agency. AirNow also maintains apps for iPhone and Android. You can use their alerts to determine when you should limit your outdoor activity to protect yourself from air pollution. Indoors, you can use a HEPA filter to help capture PM particles. You should also limit the production of other indoor sources such as secondhand smoke or fireplaces. Finally, people with pre-existing chronic disease should make sure they follow their doctor’s recommendations regarding medications.

What actions can I take to reduce air pollution in my area?

See AirNow’s list of suggested actions.

I’m interested in the data from MAIA. Will I be able to get the data and use it myself?

MAIA’s data will be freely available to the public. Please see the Data and Applications page for more details on the MAIA data products and to request to receive the pre-launch MAIA Simulated Data.