Nasa's new carbon-counting instrument leaves the nest

May 11, 2012
Technicians prep the OCO-2 instrument for shipping at JPL. The instrument consists of three parallel, high-resolution spectrometers, integrated into a common structure and fed by a common telescope. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

(Phys.org) -- Its construction now complete, the science instrument that is the heart of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) spacecraft - NASA's first mission dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide - has left its nest at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and has arrived at its integration and test site in Gilbert, Ariz.

A truck carrying the OCO-2 instrument left JPL before dawn on Tuesday, May 9, to begin the trek to Orbital Science Corporation's Satellite Manufacturing Facility in Gilbert, southeast of Phoenix, where it arrived that afternoon. The instrument will be unpacked, inspected and tested. Later this month, it will be integrated with the Orbital-built OCO-2 spacecraft bus, which arrived in Gilbert on April 30.

Once technicians ensure the spacecraft is clean of any , the observatory's integration and test campaign will kick off. That campaign will be conducted in two parts, with the first part scheduled for completion in October. The will then be stored in Gilbert for about nine months while the is prepared. The integration and test campaign will then resume, with completion scheduled for spring 2014. OCO-2 will then be shipped to Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., in preparation for a launch as early as the summer of 2014.

"The OCO-2 instrument looks great, and its delivery to Orbital's Gilbert, Ariz., facility is a big step forward in successfully launching and operating the mission in space," said Ralph Basilio, OCO-2 project manager at JPL.

OCO-2 is the latest mission in NASA's study of the global carbon cycle. Carbon dioxide is the most significant human-produced and the principal human-produced driver of climate change. The original OCO mission was lost shortly after launch on Feb. 24, 2009, when the Taurus XL launch vehicle carrying it malfunctioned and failed to reach orbit.

The experimental OCO-2 mission, which is part of NASA's Pathfinder Program, will uniformly sample the atmosphere above Earth's land and ocean, collecting more than half a million measurements of carbon dioxide concentration over Earth's sunlit hemisphere every day for at least two years. It will do so with the accuracy, resolution and coverage needed to provide the first complete picture of the regional-scale geographic distribution and seasonal variations of both human and natural sources of carbon dioxide emissions and their sinks-the places where carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and stored.

Scientists will use OCO-2 mission data to improve models, better characterize the processes responsible for adding and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and make more accurate predictions of global .

The mission provides a key new measurement that can be combined with other ground and aircraft measurements and satellite data to answer important questions about the processes that regulate and its role in the carbon cycle and climate. This information could help policymakers and business leaders make better decisions to ensure climate stability and retain our quality of life. The mission will also serve as a pathfinder for future long-term satellite missions to monitor carbon dioxide.

Each of the OCO-2 instrument's three high-resolution spectrometers spreads reflected sunlight into its various colors like a prism, focusing on a different, narrow color range to detect light with the specific colors absorbed by carbon dioxide and molecular oxygen. The amount of light absorbed at these specific colors is proportional to the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Scientists will use these data in computer models to quantify global carbon dioxide sources and sinks.

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User comments : 30

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NotParker
1.7 / 5 (17) May 11, 2012
" Carbon dioxide is the most significant human-produced greenhouse gas"

Except for water vapor which is the actual most significant greenhouse gas.
Howhot
3.8 / 5 (10) May 12, 2012
The deniers are doomed, doomed I say, to irrelevance with the launch of this machine. Say goodnight no-park.
NotParker
1.7 / 5 (17) May 12, 2012
Doomed yes ... because of chicken littles.

http://i49.tinypi...r49d.jpg
kaasinees
2.5 / 5 (13) May 12, 2012
Doomed yes ... because of chicken littles.

http://i49.tinypi...r49d.jpg

Yeah because governments all over the world spend trillions on false research so that they can destroy their own economies.
StarGazer2011
2.1 / 5 (11) May 12, 2012
Every other US CO2 observing satellite has failed to reach orbit; lets see if this one actually survives.
Also remember the JAXA satellite already provides some CO2 data but its results show developing nations are bigger emitters of CO2 than rich nations; so the data is ignored.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.2 / 5 (13) May 12, 2012
Water Vapour isn't produced by humans in any significant amounts and it's concentration in the atmosphere is determined by the atmosphere's temperature which is principally set by CO2.

"Except for water vapor which is the actual most significant greenhouse gas." - ParkerTard

Poor Mentally Ill ParkerTard.
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (12) May 12, 2012
"Doomed yes ... because of chicken littles." - ParkerTard

There was once a little chicken called parker. A nut fell on his back, and gave him such a blow that he fell down and rolled on the ground. So he ran to the hen, and said, "Henny Penny, run, I think all the economy is falling!"

"Who has told thee that, little chicken Parker?"

"Oh, a nut fell on my back, and struck me so that I rolled on the ground."

"Then let us run a republican for president," said the hen.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.9 / 5 (12) May 12, 2012
Are you suggesting that there will be another incident of Republican Sabotage that will prevent this latest satellite from reaching orbit?

"Every other US CO2 observing satellite has failed to reach orbit; lets see if this one actually survives." - StarTard
Vendicar_Decarian
3.1 / 5 (13) May 12, 2012
Yes, they keep suppressing your bigfoot and space reptillians research.

It is criminal.

"Yeah because governments all over the world spend trillions on false research" - KaasTard
NotParker
1.9 / 5 (17) May 12, 2012

Yeah because governments all over the world spend trillions on false research so that they can destroy their own economies.


Germany is finding that out.

"Germanys once impeccably stable world-class power grid has been transformed and is today just one step away from being a developing-world laughing stock. This has all been accomplished in just a few short years thanks to the countrys reckless and uncontrolled rush to renewable energies, wind and sun, all spurred on by a blind environmental movement and hysteria with respect to nuclear power."

http://notrickszo...nergies/
NotParker
2.1 / 5 (18) May 12, 2012
Water Vapour isn't produced by humans in any significant amounts


Every time a sprinkler is turned on, water vapor goes into the atmosphere.

Imagine how much water vapor results from 100s of millions of acres of farms. Power plants have massive cooling systems ... etc etc.

Being stupid is genetic, being proud of it like VD is is pretty sad.
NotParker
2.1 / 5 (19) May 12, 2012
Water Vapour isn't produced by humans in any significant amounts


Dumb dumb dumb dumb.

Jet Contrails = Water Vapor

Car Exhaust = Water Vapor, Co2 etc

Gasoline and oxygen enter the cylinder and a spark ignites the mixture. The spark begins the break up of the gasoline molecules and the oxygen molecules. Oxygen starts combining with the carbon atoms to form carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen also combines with the hydrogen atoms to form water (H2O).

packrat
3.7 / 5 (3) May 13, 2012
Water Vapour isn't produced by humans in any significant amounts


Dumb dumb dumb dumb.

Jet Contrails = Water Vapor

Car Exhaust = Water Vapor, Co2 etc

Gasoline and oxygen enter the cylinder and a spark ignites the mixture. The spark begins the break up of the gasoline molecules and the oxygen molecules. Oxygen starts combining with the carbon atoms to form carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen also combines with the hydrogen atoms to form water (H2O).



Don't forget people themselves. The sweat evaporating off people would have to add up as many of them as there is.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.3 / 5 (7) May 13, 2012
ParkerTard provides a link to a blog written by a nobody named p. Gosslin.

P Gosslin discribes himself as follows...

"Im a US citizen who received an Associate Degree in Civil Engineering at Vermont Technical College and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Now I live in northern Germany and run a small business with my wife, the owner, that services industry."

At the end of Gosslin's article he includes a video of a transformer fire presumably from Germany.

However that fire occurred more than a decade ago in the U.S. and therfore has nothing to do with the article.

"Germany is finding that out." - ParkerTard

Parker Tard has a mental disease. He needs to get help.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.6 / 5 (5) May 13, 2012
ParkerTard's latest lie is easy to expose.

If jet fuel were a significant source of water vapor then about as much jet fuel would be consumed each year as there is rainfall globally.

Approximately 505,000 cubic kilometres (121,000 cu mi) of water falls as precipitation each year across the globe

http://en.wikiped...matology

Meanwhile global oil production has peaked at 32 billion barrels of oil per year - a volume of 5 cubic kilometers.

Jet fuel comprises only a small fraction of that volume but let's say 1/100 of the volume for an initial estimate.

Then the amount of water vapor from jets constitutes only 1/100,000 of 1 percent of natural evaporation.

"Dumb dumb dumb dumb.
Jet Contrails = Water Vapor" = ParkerTard

Poor ParkerTard. He is completely innumerate as well as mentally ill.

Vendicar_Decarian
3.1 / 5 (7) May 13, 2012
And prevents evaporation somewhere else.

"Every time a sprinkler is turned on, water vapor goes into the atmosphere." - ParkerTard

Poor ParkerTard. He doesn't understand equilibria conditions either.

If he wasn't mentally ill, I would suggest that he ask a grade 8 student to explain them to him.

But I fear for the safety of the child.

NotParker
1.6 / 5 (7) May 13, 2012
If jet fuel were a significant source of water vapor


"The sheer number of contrails generated on a typical day in busy air corridors can come as a shock. A NASA satellite took this enhanced infrared image of the southeastern U.S. on January 29, 2004."

http://www.pbs.or...ect.html

Poor VD. Appallingly ignorant and proud of it.
NotParker
1.7 / 5 (12) May 13, 2012
Every time a sprinkler is turned on, water vapor goes into the atmosphere.


True. And it has a big effect.

"The same irrigation that turned Californias Central Valley from desert into productive farmland is probably also to blame for summer nights there getting noticeably warmer.

Irrigation has turned much of the San Joaquin Valleys dry, light-colored soil dark and damp, says Dr. John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). While the valleys light, dry desert ground couldnt absorb or hold much heat energy, the dark, damp irrigated fields can absorb heat like a sponge in the day and then, at night, release that heat into the atmosphere.

http://wattsupwit...warming/
NotParker
1.7 / 5 (12) May 13, 2012
And prevents evaporation somewhere else.


Poor VD. He doesn't realize Ben Santer, one of the high priests of the AWG cult disagrees with VD's dumbness.

"Data from the satellite-based Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) show that the total atmospheric moisture content over oceans has increased by 0.41 kg/m2 per decade since 1988. "

"Our findings provide preliminary evidence of an emerging anthropogenic signal in the moisture content of earth's atmosphere."

http://www.pnas.o...abstract
Vendicar_Decarian
2.8 / 5 (6) May 13, 2012
Parker Tard now attempts to alter his claim that man emits large amounts of water vapor to jets produce large swaths of contrails.

"The sheer number of contrails generated on a typical day in busy air corridors can come as a shock." - ParkerTard

ParkerTard is an idiot of course. He is mentally diseased, and needs to seek mental help.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.6 / 5 (5) May 13, 2012
Now ParkerTard tries to justify his childishly stupid comment that jets produce significant amounts of water vapor with a quote about dark soil storing more heat.

ParkerTard is chronic liar and is mentally diseased. He needs to get medical help immediately.

"While the valleys light, dry desert ground couldnt absorb or hold much heat energy, the dark, damp irrigated fields can absorb heat like a sponge" - ParkerTard
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (4) May 13, 2012
Here ParkerTard portrays a increase in global humidity with the direct production of water vapor by man when in fact global humidity levels are increasing because of the increase in global temperature.

Something ahahahahah... Tard Boy denies is happening.

What a moron.

"Our findings provide preliminary evidence of an emerging anthropogenic signal in the moisture content of earth's atmosphere." - ParkerTard

ParkerTard is mentally diseased.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.6 / 5 (5) May 13, 2012
From parkerTard's own reference.

"Experiments in which forcing factors are varied individually suggest that this fingerprint match is primarily due to human-caused increases in greenhouse gases"

Idiot ParkerTard doesn't even report his own references honestly.
He is a congenital liar.

"Poor VD. He doesn't realize Ben Santer, one of the high priests of the AWG cult disagrees with VD's dumbness." - ParkerTard

Not even ParekerTard's own references agree with him.

Get psychiatric help boy. You are mentally diseased.
NotParker
1.6 / 5 (13) May 13, 2012
12% of exhaust gases from gasoline engines is water vapor.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.6 / 5 (5) May 14, 2012
Which also comes in at 1/100,000 of natural levels of evaporation.

See the calculations done above.

Poor innumerate ParkerTard.

"12% of exhaust gases from gasoline engines is water vapor." - ParkerTard

Will he ever be anything other than the mentally ill laughing stock of PhysOrg?

Nope.
kaasinees
1.9 / 5 (9) May 14, 2012
Yes, they keep suppressing your bigfoot and space reptillians research.

It is criminal.

"Yeah because governments all over the world spend trillions on false research" - KaasTard

Hey bloody idiot, you dont undestand sarcasm?
NotParker
1.7 / 5 (11) May 14, 2012
12% of exhaust gases from gasoline engines is water vapor.


H2O is responsible for around 90% of the greenhouse effect. That why microscopic changes in CO2 have seen the earth cool since 1998.
NotParker
1.3 / 5 (12) May 14, 2012
Every time a sprinkler is turned on, water vapor goes into the atmosphere.


True. And it has a big effect.

"The same irrigation that turned Californias Central Valley from desert into productive farmland is probably also to blame for summer nights there getting noticeably warmer.

Irrigation has turned much of the San Joaquin Valleys dry, light-colored soil dark and damp, says Dr. John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). While the valleys light, dry desert ground couldnt absorb or hold much heat energy, the dark, damp irrigated fields can absorb heat like a sponge in the day and then, at night, release that heat into the atmosphere.

http://wattsupwit...warming/

Estevan57
2.1 / 5 (17) May 14, 2012
Drinking water is 100% fatal to all life forms - eventually - lets ban it. Dumbass parker
NotParker
1.6 / 5 (13) May 14, 2012
Drinking water is 100% fatal to all life forms - eventually - lets ban it. Dumbass parker


H2O is by far the most powerful greenhouse gas.

Do they show humidity levels on the greenhouse gas graphs? Why not?