Video: NASA Explores the Great Barrier Reef

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The agency is looking to corral some coral.

NASA doesn't just have its sights set on Mars: The space agency has recently turned its attention to our own planet, particularly its coral reefs. NASA recently started its Coral Reef Airborne Laboratory, or CORAL, mission.

The goal of CORAL is to conduct an in-depth study of reef ecosystems across the world, including the reefs of Palau, the Mariana Islands, parts of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and Hawaii beginning in 2016 and lasting for the next three years.

"We're looking at a portion of the world reef system to assess the condition of these threatened ecosystems and relate how they're changing to their environment," said Michelle Gierach, a CORAL project scientist.

Researchers will use advanced airborne instruments, such as the Portable Remote Imaging Spectrometer, which will fly more than 20,000 feet above the ocean's surface to record data.

To learn more about the CORAL mission, check out the video below from NASA: