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On June 19, 2013, NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a striking image of smoke billowing from illegal wildfires on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The smoke blew east toward southern Malaysia and Singapore, and news media reported that thick clouds of haze had descended on Singapore, pushing pollution levels to record levels.  Singapore’s primary measure of pollution, the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI)—a uniform measure of key pollutants similar to the Air Quality Index (AQI) used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—spiked to 371 on the afternoon of June 20, 2013, the highest level ever recorded. The previous record occurred in 1997, when the index hit 226. Health experts consider any level above 300 to be “hazardous” to human health. Levels above 200 are considered “very unhealthy.”  The image above was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), an instrument that observes the entire surface of Earth’s every 1 to 2 days. The  image was captured during the afternoon at 6:30 UTC (2:30 p.m. local time).  Though local laws prohibit it, farmers in Sumatra often burn forests during the dry season to prepare soil for new crops. The BBC reported that Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong warned that the haze could “easily last for several weeks and quite possibly longer until the dry season ends in Sumatra.”  NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response. Caption by Adam Voiland.  Credit: <b><a href="http://www.earthobservatory.nasa.gov/" rel="nofollow"> NASA Earth Observatory</a></b>  Instrument: Aqua - MODIS  <b><a href="http://www.nasa.gov/audience/formedia/features/MP_Photo_Guidelines.html" rel="nofollow">NASA image use policy.</a></b>  <b><a href="http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/home/index.html" rel="nofollow">NASA Goddard Space Flight Center</a></b> enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.  <b>Follow us on <a href="http://twitter.com/NASA_GoddardPix" rel="nofollow">Twitter</a></b>  <b>Like us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Greenbelt-MD/NASA-Goddard/395013845897?ref=tsd" rel="nofollow">Facebook</a></b>  <b>Find us on <a href="http://instagram.com/nasagoddard?vm=grid" rel="nofollow">Instagram</a></b>
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S88-54945 (6 Dec 1988) --- The STS-29 crewmembers are trained in procedures to follow in the event of a fire with their spacecraft.  Here, Astronauts Michael L. Coats (far left), mission commander, and James P. Bagian, mission specialist, follow the lead of two fellow crewmembers as they extinguish a fire. The astronauts in front of the action are Robert C. Springer, mission specialist, and John E. Blaha, pilot.  Not pictured is James F. Buchli, mission specialist. Their instructor, center, is Robert Fife of NASA's security staff. The training took place on the northern end of the 1625-acre JSC facility.
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Aerial views of the STS-5 launch from T-38 chase aircraft Nov. 11, 1982. Shuttle Columbia can be seen as a small figure trailed by a line of smoke.
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Flames and smoke from a Japanese H-IIA rocket with the NASA-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory onboard, are seen during the launch from the Tanegashima Space Center, Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, Tanegashima, Japan. The GPM spacecraft will collect information that unifies data from an international network of existing and future satellites to map global rainfall and snowfall every three hours. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
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