In order to find vital minerals buried throughout the southwest of the US, NASA and the US Geological Survey want to send out airplanes.
The minerals, which are essential to the Biden administration's aspirations to develop the nation's renewable energy industry, will be mapped from the air.
The collaborative research project, known as GEMx, will begin with $16 million in funds made possible by the bipartisan infrastructure package that was approved last year.
NASA's ER-2 and Gulfstream V planes will fly over regions of California, Nevada, Arizona,
and New Mexico over the course of the next five years to gather data that may reveal where vital mineral resources are most plentiful.
NASA's Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS), a potent tool for high-altitude remote sensing, will be carried by both planes.