Range Tracking

Sam and the Carbon Conundrum

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Sam and I dutifully awoke at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, 1 July 2014, to watch the launch of NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO 2) only to see the launch get scrubbed in the last 45 seconds due to a valve problem with the pad’s water deluge system. Trying again, Sam and I sleepily awakened at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday to happily see the venerable United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket successfully launch OCO 2 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 5:56 a.m. EDT (2:56 a.m. PDT), which promptly allowed me to reset my alarm clock to a more civilized wake-up time for Thursday. We should be hearing a lot more about the OCO 2 mission over the next few years as the Earth orbiting satellite takes precise inventory of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for a clearer picture of carbon dioxide’s impact on planet Earth.

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