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NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory

January 13th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

OCO Logo

Launch Countdown, Feb. 23, 2009:

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NASA will launch their new OCO satellite soon. This is yet another satellite to monitor our earth’s parameters and changes over time. It will be the first dedicated spacecraft to register carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. The instruments will map the entire earth every 16 days. The OCO will be flying in formation with 5 other earth observing spacecraft also known as the “A-Train”. All these spacecraft describe the same orbit and will pass over the same point on earth just minutes after another. The acquired data can be correlated with the data obtained by the other satellites because the data gathering of the 6 spacecraft happens almost simultaneous.

The A-train

The A-train, including the soon to be launched OCO.

Another cool thing about this mission is the available to all data that can be found here: http://oco-dc.jpl.nasa.gov/. If only I knew more about C++ and learned how to work with HDS (Hierarchical Data System) data storage.

OCO measuring

The OCO launch is currently targeted for February 23rd. The heavy lifting is provided by a taurus rocket.

The 23th of February will be a good day for climate science!

Check out the NASA orbiting carbon observatory mission homepage at nasa.gov and the jet propulsion laboratory OCO website.

Also check out NASA’s global climate change website (also a good one for the naysayers) at http://globalclimatechange.jpl.nasa.gov/.

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