On Wednesday 2 July 2014, NASA reported the successful launch of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The satellite's mission will last at least two years to study the sources and storage of atmospheric carbon dioxide. OCO-2 is the second of five scheduled NASA Earth Science missions to be launched in 2014.
OCO-2 will take uniform samples of the atmosphere over land and sea in order to collect over 100,000 precise individual carbon dioxide measurements daily of the of Earth’s sunlit hemisphere. Data from these samples are expected to be released in early 2015.
"Climate change is the challenge of our generation…with OCO-2 and our existing fleet of satellites, NASA is uniquely qualified to take on the challenge of documenting and understanding these changes, predicting the ramifications, and sharing information about these changes for the benefit of society," said Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator.