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Environment and Energy

VIDEO: Delta II launch success at Vandenberg AFB Wednesday morning

Video still from NASA

UPDATE: Tuesday, July 2, 2014 at 7:36 a.m. 

A NASA satellite that will study Earth's carbon dioxide levels and their relationship to climate change was launched into space early Wednesday morning onboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) is the second of NASA's five Earth science missions to launch this year. It's the organization's first mission dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide, the leading human- produced greenhouse gas.

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.  

UPDATE: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 8:41 a.m. 

The launch of a United Launch Alliance Delta II carrying NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite was scrubbed early Tuesday morning.

Officials at Vandenberg Air Force Base say there was an issue with the water suppression system that is used to flow water on the launch pad to dampen the acoustic energy during launch.

The launch is rescheduled for Wednesday, July 2 from Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg AFB, pending the outcome of troubleshooting.

The launch time is 2:56 a.m. PDT at the opening of a 30-second window. The forecast for July 2 shows a 100 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for the launch.


A Delta II rocket is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base early Tuesday morning.

It will carry a project from NASA called the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2). It's the second of the administration's five Earth science missions to launch this year.

The observatory is designed to study atmospheric carbon dioxide to help better understand how the greenhouse gas is driving changes in the planet's climate.

The launch is set for 2:56 a.m.

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