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Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2)

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Status: Current
Mission Category: ESSP, A-Train
Launch Date: July 2, 2014
Launch Location: Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA
Designed Life: July 2, 2019

The second Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) mission is designed to provide space-based global measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide with the precision and resolution needed to identify and characterize the processes that regulate this important greenhouse gas. With its three high-resolution grating spectrometers, data collected by OCO-2 could be combined with meteorological observations and ground-based carbon dioxide measurement to help characterize carbon dioxide sources and sinks on regional scales at monthly intervals for 2 years.

Key Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 Facts

Mission/Portal Page: http://science.nasa.gov/missions/oco-2/
Launch Vehicle: Delta-2
Altitude:Distance from sea level. 705km
Inclination: 98.2°
Local Node:Approximate time, at the equator when vehicle is directly overhead. 1:15 p.m.
Origination: NASA
Instruments: Three high-resolution grating spectrometers
Project Scientist(s): Mike Gunson
Deputy Project Scientist(s): Annmarie Eldering

Related Publications:

Relevant Science Focus Areas:

  • Carbon Cycle, Ecosystems, and Biogeochemistry
  • Earth Surface and Interior

Relevant Science Questions:

  • How does the Earth system respond to natural and human-induced changes?
  • How is the global Earth system changing?
  • How will the Earth system change in the future?

Science Goals:

  • Improve our understanding of the geographic distribution of CO2 sources and sinks (surface fluxes) and the processes controlling their variability on seasonal time scales.
  • Validate a passive spectroscopic measurement approach and analysis concept that is well suited for future systematic CO2 monitoring missions.

Related Applications:

  • Air Quality
  • Carbon Management
  • Public Health