An American flag adorns the top of the Delta II launcher at Space Launch Complex 2 on Vandenberg Air Force Base in California where preparations are underway for the upcoming launch of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission, or OCO-2, in July.
The observatory will collect precise global measurements of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere and provide scientists with a better idea of the chemical compound's impacts on climate change. Scientists will analyze this data to improve our understanding of the natural processes and human activities that regulate the abundance and distribution of this important atmospheric gas. To learn more about OCO-2, visit http://oco.jpl.nasa.gov. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett