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NASA Opts for Alternative Greenhouse Gas Observation Mission Over GeoCarb

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NASA said it will pursue alternate options to develop greenhouse gas measurement and observation technologies rather than a planned observation mission with Lockheed Martin and the University of Oklahoma.

GeoCarb was intended as a low-cost satellite designed to monitor carbon gases in the atmosphere over North and South America but became unfeasible due to cost performance and technical concerns, NASA said Tuesday.

The mission has an estimated life cycle cost of more than $600 million, a significant increase from its original cost capped at $170.9 million, and the increased cost would negatively impact the Earth Science portfolio.

The agency carries out its greenhouse gas observation efforts by obtaining data from international and commercial partners, extending operations of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 mission on the International Space Station and performing additional airborne observations.

“We are committed to making key methane and carbon dioxide observations, integrating them with measurements collected by other national, international, and private sector missions, and making actionable information available to communities and organizations who need it to inform their decisions,” said Karen St. Germain, director of the Earth Science Division.