The Orbiting Carbon Observatory, or OCO, was designed to make space-based observations of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere to better understand the characteristics of climate change. However, the mission failed soon after launch when the launch vehicle's fairing did not separate from the spacecraft.

A replacement spacecraft, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2, is scheduled to launch July 1, 2014, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Scientific Instruments

- Spectrometer system