NASA is canceling the climate change satellite used to monitor greenhouse gases
All good things must come to an end, and in the case of NASA’s GeoCarb mission, some good things must end before they really begin.
NASA canceled the GeoCarb mission, which was a collaboration with the University of Oklahoma and Lockheed Martin set to set one greenhouse gas–Surveillance satellite in geostationary orbit. GeoCarb would have measured levels of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and methane in the atmosphere about 4 million times a day. The order was selected by NASA in 2016.
“Decisions like these are difficult, but NASA strives to make careful decisions with the resources that are being provided by the people of the United States,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science a statement. “We look forward to fulfilling our commitment to cutting-edge climate observation more efficiently and cost-effectively.”
Related: 10 devastating signs of climate change satellites can see from space
According to NASA’s statement, the decision to end GeoCarb was due to “technical concerns, cost performance and the availability of new alternative data sources.” The latest expected cost for GeoCarb was $600 million, much higher than the mission’s original estimate of $170.9 million.
These new data sources include the new ones Investigation of the mineral dust source at the earth’s surface (EMIT) Instrument that arrived on International Space Station (ISS) in July and the mission extension of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 Instrument that started work in 2019, also on board the ISS.
NASA is also working on it Earth System Observatorya series of earth-focused satellites to be launched by 2030. The satellites will study aerosols, clouds, surface biology and geology, and surface deformation and change, among other things.
“NASA is committed to understanding how our home planet is changing — and greenhouse gases play a central role in that,” Karen St. Germain, NASA’s chief of Earth Sciences, said in a statement. “We are committed to taking key methane and carbon dioxide observations, integrating them with measurements collected by other national, international and private missions, and providing actionable information to communities and organizations that need it to make decisions. “
Follow Stefanie Waldek on Twitter @StefanieWaldek. follow us on twitter @spacedotcom and further Facebook.
https://www.space.com/nasa-geocarb-climate-change-mission-canceled NASA is canceling the climate change satellite used to monitor greenhouse gases