Friday, May 11, 2012

OCO-2 is Coming Together

The above image is an artist's conception of OCO-2 in Earth orbit. Image Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech

Here is a pre-flight update on NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2), which may launch as early as the summer of 2014. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory has completed work on the spacecraft's science instrument -- the heart of the OCO-2 spacecraft.

Early on Tuesday, May 9, a truck carrying the instrument left Pasadena. Later that afternoon it reached Orbital Science Corporation's Satellite Manufacturing Facility in Gilbert, Arizona. And later this month, the instrument will be integrated with the Orbital-built OCO-2 spacecraft bus, which arrived in Gilbert on April 30.

OCO-2 is the latest mission in NASA's study of the global carbon cycle and NASA's first mission dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is the most significant human-produced greenhouse gas and the principal human-produced driver of climate change.

The original OCO mission was lost shortly after launch on February 24, 2009, when the Taurus XL launch vehicle carrying it malfunctioned and failed to reach orbit. If all continues on schedule, OCO-2 will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, as early as the summer of 2014.

And now, the mission particulars...

OCO-2 is managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Orbital Sciences Corporation, Dulles, Virginia, built the spacecraft and provides mission operations under JPL's leadership. The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA.

For more information on OCO-2, visit: and .


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