Feb 23, 2009

OCO Set To Launch Tuesday Morning

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The Orbital Sciences Taurus XL rocket set to launch NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory is in place at Launch Complex 576-E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Liftoff is scheduled for Feb. 24 at 1:51:30 a.m. PST (4:51:30 a.m. EST).

Follow the countdown live on launch day with NASA’s Launch Blog or NASA TV beginning at 12 a.m. PST (3 a.m. EST).

The OCO is a new Earth-orbiting mission sponsored by NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder Program. The spacecraft will collect precise global measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Scientists will analyze OCO data to improve our understanding of the natural processes and human activities that regulate the abundance and distribution of this important greenhouse gas.

This improved understanding will enable more reliable forecasts of future changes in the abundance and distribution of CO2 in the atmosphere and the effect that these changes may have on the Earth’s climate.

Source Spacemart