From left, David Crisp, Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, or OCO-2, science team leader at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, or JPL, and Annmarie Eldering, OCO-2 deputy project scientist at JPL, participate in a mission science briefing at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California prior to the launch of the observatory.
Launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex 2 is scheduled for 5:56 a.m. EDT on July 1. OCO-2 is NASA’s first mission dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide, the leading human-produced greenhouse gas driving changes in Earth’s climate. OCO-2 will provide a new tool for understanding the human and natural sources of carbon dioxide emissions and the natural "sinks" that absorb carbon dioxide and help control its buildup. The observatory will measure the global geographic distribution of these sources and sinks and study their changes over time. To learn more about OCO-2, visit http://www.nasa.gov/oco2. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett