Preparations are underway to attach NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, or OCO-2, to the payload attach system inside a clean room in the Astrotech Payload Processing Facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket is scheduled for July 1, 2014, from Space Launch Complex 2. 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/U. S. Air Force 30th Space Wing