Blog dedicado a cuentos, notas de interés, actividades políticas , sociales, historia, artes culinarias, fiestas patronales, astronomía, ciencia ficción, temas del Medio Ambiente ,y del acontecer Peruano y Mundial desde otro punto de vista ... Muy Personal y diferente!!!. *** Blog Fundado el 03 de Enero del 2008 ***
NASA : Liftoff! OCO-2 Heads to Orbit .- NASA Launches New Carbon-Sensing Mission to Monitor Earth’s Breathing
A United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket launches
with the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2)satellite onboard from Space
Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. on Wednesday, July 2,
2014. OCO-2 will measure the global distribution of carbon dioxide, the leading
human-produced greenhouse gas driving changes in Earth’s
Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
successfully launched its first spacecraft dedicated to studying atmospheric
carbon dioxide at 2:56 a.m. PDT (5:56 a.m. EDT) Wednesday.
The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) raced skyward from Vandenberg Air
Force Base, California, on a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket.
Approximately 56 minutes after the launch, the observatory separated from the
rocket's second stage into an initial 429-mile (690-kilometer) orbit. The
spacecraft then performed a series of activation procedures, established
communications with ground controllers and unfurled its twin sets of solar
arrays. Initial telemetry shows the spacecraft is in excellent condition.
OCO-2 soon will begin a minimum two-year mission to locate Earth’s sources of
and storage places for atmospheric carbon dioxide, the leading human-produced
greenhouse gas responsible for warming our world and a critical component of the
planet’s carbon cycle.
"Climate change is the challenge of our generation," said NASA
Administrator Charles Bolden. "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."
OCO-2 will take NASA's studies of carbon dioxide and the global carbon cycle
to new heights. The mission will produce the most detailed picture to date of
natural sources of carbon dioxide, as well as their "sinks" -- places on Earth’s
surface where carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere. The observatory
will study how these sources and sinks are distributed around the globe and how
they change over time.
"This challenging mission is both timely and important," said Michael
Freilich, director of the Earth Science Division of NASA’s Science Mission
Directorate in Washington. "OCO-2 will produce exquisitely precise measurements
of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations near Earth's surface, laying the
foundation for informed policy decisions on how to adapt to and reduce future
Carbon dioxide sinks are at the heart of a longstanding scientific puzzle
that has made it difficult for scientists to accurately predict how carbon
dioxide levels will change in the future and how those changing concentrations
will affect Earth's climate.
"Scientists currently don't know exactly where and how Earth's oceans and
plants have absorbed more than half the carbon dioxide that human activities
have emitted into our atmosphere since the beginning of the industrial era,"
said David Crisp, OCO-2 science team leader at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
(JPL) in Pasadena, California. "Because of this we cannot predict precisely how
these processes will operate in the future as climate changes. For society to
better manage carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere, we need to be able to
measure the natural source and sink processes."
Precise measurements of the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide are
needed because background levels vary by less than two percent on regional to
continental scales. Typical changes can be as small as one-third of one percent.
OCO-2 measurements are designed to measure these small changes clearly.
During the next 10 days, the spacecraft will go through a checkout process
and then begin three weeks of maneuvers that will place it in its final 438-mile
(705-kilometer), near-polar operational orbit at the head of the international
Afternoon Constellation, or "A-Train," of Earth-observing satellites. The
A-Train, the first multi-satellite, formation flying "super observatory" to
record the health of Earth's atmosphere and surface environment, collects an
unprecedented quantity of nearly simultaneous climate and weather
OCO-2 science operations will begin about 45 days after launch. Scientists
expect to begin archiving calibrated mission data in about six months and plan
to release their first initial estimates of atmospheric carbon dioxide
concentrations in early 2015.
The observatory will uniformly sample the atmosphere above Earth's land and
waters, collecting more than 100,000 precise individual measurements of carbon
dioxide over Earth's entire sunlit hemisphere every day. Scientists will use
these data in computer models to generate maps of carbon dioxide emission and
uptake at Earth’s surface on scales comparable in size to the state of Colorado.
These regional-scale maps will provide new tools for locating and identifying
carbon dioxide sources and sinks.
OCO-2 also will measure a phenomenon called solar-induced fluorescence, an
indicator of plant growth and health. As plants photosynthesize and take up
carbon dioxide, they fluoresce and give off a tiny amount of light that is
invisible to the naked eye. Because more photosynthesis translates into more
fluorescence, fluorescence data from OCO-2 will help shed new light on the
uptake of carbon dioxide by plants
OCO-2 is a NASA Earth System Science Pathfinder Program mission managed by
JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Orbital Sciences
Corporation in Dulles, Virginia, built the spacecraft bus and provides mission
operations under JPL’s leadership. The science instrument was built by JPL,
based on the instrument design co-developed for the original OCO mission by
Hamilton Sundstrand in Pomona, California. NASA's Launch Services Program at
NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is responsible for launch management.
Communications during all phases of the mission are provided by NASA's Near
Earth Network, with contingency support from the Space Network. Both are
divisions of the Space Communications and Navigation program at NASA
Headquarters. JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology
OCO-2 is the second of five NASA Earth science missions scheduled to launch
into space this year, the most new Earth-observing mission launches in one year
in more than a decade. NASA monitors Earth’s vital signs from land, air and
space with a fleet of satellites and ambitious airborne and ground-based
observation campaigns. NASA develops new ways to observe and study Earth’s
interconnected natural systems with long-term data records and computer analysis
tools to better see how our planet is changing. The agency shares this unique
knowledge with the global community and works with institutions in the United
States and around the world that contribute to understanding and protecting our
For more information about NASA's Earth science activities in 2014,
July 2, 2014 -- A United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket launches with the
Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite onboard from Space Launch
Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. OCO-2 will measure the
global distribution of carbon dioxide, the leading human-produced greenhouse gas
driving changes in Earth’s climate.
Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Launch of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2
Rescheduled for July 2
The launch of NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) aboard a United
Launch Alliance Delta II rocket is scheduled for Wednesday, July 2 at 5:56 a.m.
EDT (2:56 a.m. PDT) from Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in
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 OCO-2 mission will produce the most detailed picture to date of natural
sources of carbon dioxide, as well as their "sinks" -- places on Earth’s surface
where carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere. The observatory will study
how these sources and sinks are distributed around the globe and how they change
The launch weather forecast is unchanged with a 100 percent chance of
favorable conditions at liftoff, which is targeted for 5:56:23 EDT (2:56:23 PDT)
at the opening of a 30-second launch window.
NASA Television coverage will begin at 3:45 a.m. EDT (12:45 a.m. PDT)
Wednesday. For NASA TV downlink and schedule information and streaming video,
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is responsible for
project management of OCO-2. Orbital Sciences Corp., built the OCO-2 spacecraft.
NASA’s Launch Services Program at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida
provides launch management. United Launch Alliance of Centennial, Colorado, is
NASA’s launch service provider for the Delta II rocket.
Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) Aboard Delta II
The launch gantry is rolled back to reveal the United Launch Alliance Delta
II rocket with the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite onboard, at
the Space Launch Complex 2, Monday, June 30, 2014, Vandenberg Air Force Base,
Calif. OCO-2 will measure the global distribution of carbon dioxide, the leading
human-produced greenhouse gas driving changes in Earth’s climate. Launch of
OCO-2 is now scheduled for Wednesday, July 2 at 5:56 a.m. EDT (2:56 a.m.
Pacific) at the opening of a 30-second window.
Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 Satellite at Launch Pad
The upper levels of the launch gantry, surrounding the United Launch Alliance
Delta II rocket with the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite
onboard, are seen at Space Launch Complex 2, Sunday, June 29, 2014, Vandenberg
Air Force Base, Calif. OCO-2 will measure the global distribution of carbon
dioxide, the leading human-produced greenhouse gas driving changes in Earth’s
climate. OCO-2 is scheduled to launch on July 1 at 5:56 a.m. EDT, 2:56 a.m.