NASA's OCO-2 Mission
Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2
Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2 will be NASA's first dedicated Earth remote sensing satellite to study atmospheric carbon dioxide from Space. OCO-2 will be collecting space-based global measurements of atmospheric CO2 with the precision, resolution, and coverage needed to characterize sources and sinks on regional scales. OCO-2 will also be able to quantify CO2 variability over the seasonal cycles year after year.
CO2 is a constituent of the Earth's atmosphere. We know that CO2 is one of several gases that trap heat near the surface of the Earth. These gases are known as greenhouse gases. Many scientists have concluded that substantial increases in the abundance of CO2 will generate an increase in the Earth's surface temperature.
Scheduled launch is July 1, 2014 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.