2 July 2014
Following a launch scrub Tuesday due to the failure of a water flow system, a Delta 2 rocket successfully launched NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) spacecraft early Wednesday morning from Vandenberg Air Force Base during a 30-second window opening. The launch followed the replacement of a bad valve. The spacecraft faces six to seven weeks before it can begin to take the measurements that are expected to help determine the rise and fall of carbon dioxide with the seasons. It also will help scientists determine whether the carbon dioxide emissions will continue to be absorbed at the same rate in the future. There is some uncertainty as to what comes next after OCO-2, since, in March, the administration’s budget request put the OCO-3, which would have been hosted on the ISS, on indefinite hold. (Image Credit: NASA)
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