NASA Launches Carbon Dioxode Measuring Satellite
Posted at 9:09 a.m. on July 2, 2014
As some of us were starting to wake up this morning, NASA launched a satellite designed to take measurements of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere in order to better understand the greenhouse gas.
“Climate change is the challenge of our generation,” said NASA administrator Charles Bolden in a written statement. “With OCO-2 and our existing fleet of satellites, NASA is uniquely qualified to take on the challenge of documenting and understanding these changes, predicting the ramifications, and sharing information about these changes for the benefit of society.”
The launch had been scheduled for Tuesday, but there was a faulty valve, according to NASA.
The launch team has completed troubleshooting of the launch pad water suppression system that resulted in the scrub of the launch attempt Tuesday. A valve that is part of the pulse suppression water system, which had operated properly during tests shortly before the launch countdown, failed to function properly during the final minutes of the launch attempt. The failed valve has been replaced with a spare, and the system is being tested in preparation for Wednesday’s launch attempt.
The spacecraft, known as the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, is a replacement of one that saw a launch failure in 2009. Surviving pieces of the satellite ended up in the Pacific Ocean near Antarctica.