NASA has chosen a consortium led by the University of OklahomaÂ for aÂ five-year Earth science mission to measure greenhouse gases and vegetation health from space as part ofÂ efforts to better understandÂ the planet’s natural exchanges of carbon between the atmosphere, land and ocean.
TheÂ Geostationary Carbon Cycle ObservatoryÂ initiative aims to monitor plant health and vegetation stress in theÂ Americas as well as probe natural sources and exchange processes that impact carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and methane,Â NASA said Wednesday.
The $166 million project will send a commercial communications satellite over the regionÂ from an orbit of 22,000 miles above the equator as part of a competitively selected Earth Venture-Mission.
“GeoCARB will provide important new measurements related to Earthâs global natural carbon cycle, and will allow monitoring of vegetation health throughout North, Central and South America,” saidÂ Michael Freilich, director of the Earth science division at NASA’s science mission directorate.
TheÂ University of Oklahoma will lead the GeoCARB team comprised ofÂ Lockheed Martin, SES Government Solutions, Colorado State University, the Ames Research Center, Goddard Space Flight Center and Jet Propulsion Laboratory.