An artist’s concept of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory Photo: NASA/JPL.
NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory spacecraft and its Taurus XL launch vehicle are undergoing preparations for liftoff on February 23. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory’s mission is to collect precise global measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth's atmosphere to improve our understanding of the natural processes and human activities that regulate the abundance and distribution of this important greenhouse gas - important because its the leading human-produced greenhouse gas driving changes in Earth's climate. 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.
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