Half of the Delta II payload fairing for NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, or OCO-2, is secured around the spacecraft in the mobile service tower at Space Launch Complex 2 on Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The fairing will protect OCO-2 during launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, 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://oco.jpl.nasa.gov. Photo credit: NASA/30th Space Wing, U.S. Air Force