Randy Pollock, project architect for NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, or OCO-2, from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, or JPL, and Pavani Peddada, OCO-2 engineer from JPL, discuss the observatory with representatives of social media outlets attending a NASA Social at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Launch of OCO-2 aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex 2 is scheduled for 5:56 a.m. EDT on July 1. The social media users selected to attend the two-day event on June 30 and July 1 are given the same access as news media in an effort to align their experience with those of traditional media. 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/Ben Smegelsky