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Some results are given of an experimental study of the loss mechanism for electrons in plasmas. Steady-state and decaying plasmas were studied by means of microwave interferometers. Values of the electron-ion recombination coefficient for nitrogen and argon are given. The effect of water vapor as an impurity upon the electron-ion recombination rate of air is demonstrated. Data is also given on the transmission of microwave through an ionized layer about a body in a supersonic gas stream and the effect upon transmission of water vapor addition to the stream.