Orbiting Carbon Observatory Set for Feb. 24 Launch

Feb 19, 2009
On Launch Complex 576-E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory, OCO, upper stack is lowered toward the Stage 0 motor of the Taurus XL vehicle. Image credit: NASA/Randy Beaudoin

(PhysOrg.com) -- The Orbital Sciences Taurus XL rocket set to launch NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory is now fully assembled at Launch Complex 576-E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The vehicle's upper stack -- consisting of the payload's protective fairing and Stages 1, 2 and 3 -- was installed Feb. 18 atop Stage 0, which has been in place at the launch pad since Jan. 29.

Liftoff is scheduled for Feb. 24 at 1:51:30 a.m. PST (4:51:30 a.m. EST).

The OCO is a new Earth-orbiting mission sponsored by NASA's Earth System Science Pathfinder Program. The spacecraft will collect precise global measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth's atmosphere. Scientists will analyze OCO data to improve our understanding of the natural processes and human activities that regulate the abundance and distribution of this important greenhouse gas. This improved understanding will enable more reliable forecasts of future changes in the abundance and distribution of CO2 in the atmosphere and the effect that these changes may have on the Earth's climate.

Provided by NASA

Explore further: Image: Europa's Jupiter-facing hemisphere

Related Stories

Power to the batteries

May 22, 2015

Better solar panels and wind turbines are important to helping ensure a low-carbon future. But they are not enough. The energy from these intermittent sources must be stored, managed, converted and accessed ...

No-electric clothes washer appeals to pedal pushers

Apr 28, 2015

Did you say a washing machine "off the grid?" You mean a washing machine that does not need electricity? You work it with your foot? Small wonder that many sites this month have been picking up on the Yirego ...

Mystery methane on Mars: The saga continues

May 15, 2015

Is the Red Planet giving off methane? The question has taunted scientists for nearly 50 years, ever since the Mariner 7 spacecraft detected a whiff of the gas near Mars' south pole. Researchers retracted ...

Recommended for you

Image: Europa's Jupiter-facing hemisphere

2 hours ago

This 12-frame mosaic provides the highest resolution view ever obtained of the side of Jupiter's moon Europa that faces the giant planet. It was obtained on Nov. 25, 1999 by the camera onboard the Galileo ...

SpaceX cleared for US military launches

3 hours ago

The US Air Force has certified private company SpaceX to launch military satellites, opening the doors to a lucrative market previously held solely by a Lockheed and Boeing joint venture.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.