The launch of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission (OCO-2) at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California, is scheduled for Tuesday, July 1. Liftoff from Space Launch Complex 2 aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket at VAFB is targeted for 2:56 a.m. PDT (5:56 a.m. EDT) at the opening of a 30-second launch window.
OCO-2 is NASA's first mission dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide, the leading human-produced greenhouse gas driving changes in Earth's climate. 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.
The spacecraft's final circular polar orbit will be 438 miles (705 kilometers) at an inclination of 98.2 degrees.
PRELAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCES
The prelaunch news conference and mission science briefing will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. PDT (7 to 9 p.m. EDT) on Sunday, June 29 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The briefing will be carried live on NASA Television and streamed on NASA.gov.
Participants in the prelaunch news conference will be:
Betsy Edwards, OCO-2 Program Executive - NASA Headquarters
Tim Dunn, NASA Launch Manager - Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Vernon Thorp, Program Manager, NASA Missions - United Launch Alliance, Denver
Ralph Basilio, OCO-2 Project Manager - Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
Lt. Joseph Round, Launch Weather Officer, 30th Operations Support Squadron Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
An OCO-2 mission science briefing will be held immediately following the prelaunch news conference. Presenting the mission science objectives will be:
Ken Jucks, OCO-2 Program Scientist - NASA Headquarters
David Crisp, OCO-2 Science Team Leader - JPL
Annmarie Eldering, OCO-2 Deputy Project Scientist - JPL
MEDIA/SOCIAL MEDIA EVENT
Note: NASA has added a media and social media event to the activities at the OCO-2 launch site for Monday, June 30. From 9:30 to 11 a.m. PDT (12:30 to 2 p.m. EDT), NASA will host a live broadcast featuring interactive discussions, including an OCO-2 mission overview, launch details and an engineering and science panel. The event will be aired live on NASA TV and streamed on NASA.gov.
LAUNCH DAY MEDIA COVERAGE
On launch day, July 1, NASA TV launch commentary coverage of the countdown will begin at 12:45 a.m. PDT (3:45 a.m. EDT). Launch is targeted for 2:56 a.m. PDT (5:56 a.m. EDT). The flight azimuth of the Delta II after liftoff will be 196 degrees. Spacecraft separation from the rocket occurs 56 minutes, 15 seconds after launch.
After launch, an OCO-2 post-launch news conference will be held at Vandenberg. Observatory and mission officials will provide the spacecraft status and discuss its state of health. The event will begin at 5:30 a.m. PDT (8:30 a.m. EDT) and will be carried live on NASA Television and on NASA.gov.
NASA TELEVISION COVERAGE
NASA Television will carry the prelaunch news conference and mission science briefing starting at 4 p.m. PDT (7 p.m. EDT) on Sunday, June 29.
On July 1, NASA Television coverage of the launch will begin at 12:45 a.m. PDT (3:45 p.m. EDT) .
The prelaunch news conference and other OCO-2 events also will be webcast at: http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv
For information on receiving NASA TV and for the schedule of covered events, go to: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html
NASA WEB COVERAGE
Extensive prelaunch and launch day coverage of the liftoff of OCO-2 aboard the Delta II rocket will be available on NASA's home page at: http://www.nasa.gov
A prelaunch webcast for the OCO-2 mission will be streamed on NASA's website at noon PDT (3 p.m. EDT) on Monday, June 30. To view the webcast and the countdown blog or to learn more about the OCO-2 mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/oco2
Live countdown coverage on NASA's launch blog begins at 12:45 a.m. PDT (3:45 a.m. EDT). Coverage features real-time updates of countdown milestones, as well as streaming video clips highlighting launch preparations and liftoff.
Some of the events carried live on NASA TV and NASA.gov will also be streamed on: http://www.ustream.tv/NASAJPL2
Join the conversation and follow the OCO-2 mission online by using #OCO2 and #EarthRightNow on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/lamOCO2
Throughout the launch countdown, the NASA Launch Services Program and NASA JPL Twitter and Facebook accounts will be continuously updated at:
JPL is responsible for project management of OCO-2. Orbital Sciences Corp. built the OCO-2 spacecraft. NASA's Launch Services Program at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida provides launch management. United Launch Alliance of Centennial, Colorado, is NASA's launch service provider of the Delta II rocket.