Artist illustration of OCO-2.
NASA held a news conference and science briefing on Sunday, June 29th in advance of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission (OCO-2) launch. The launch is at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California, and is scheduled for Tuesday, July 1. Liftoff will be from Space Launch Complex 2 aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket and is targeted for 2:56 a.m. PDT (5:56 a.m. EDT, 0956 UTC).
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.
Participants in the prelaunch news conference were:
- Betsy Edwards, OCO-2 Program Executive - NASA Headquarters
- Tim Dunn, NASA Launch Manager - Kennedy Space Center
- Vernon Thorp, Program Manager, NASA Missions - United Launch Alliance
- Ralph Basilio, OCO-2 Project Manager - Jet Propulsion Laboratory
- Lt. Joseph Round, Launch Weather Officer, 30th Operations Support Squadron VAFB
The OCO-2 mission science briefing was held immediately following the prelaunch news conference. Presenting the mission science objectives were:
- Ken Jucks, OCO-2 Program Scientist - NASA Headquarters
- David Crisp, OCO-2 Science Team Leader - JPL
- Annmarie Eldering, OCO-2 Deputy Project Scientist - JPL