NASA cancels seriously planned surveillance satellite greenhouse gases Because it was so expensive and complicated, all over America.
But the space agency said it is still looking at human-caused carbon pollution in different ways.
NASA announced Tuesday that the GeoCorp mission, which was supposed to be a low-cost satellite to monitor carbon dioxide, methane and how plant life is changing in North and South America, is being scrapped because of cost overruns.
When it is announced Six years ago, It was said to cost $166 million, but recent NASA figures show the cost could be more than $600 million, and it’s years behind schedule, says NASA Earth Sciences Director Karen St. Germain.
Unlike other satellites that monitor greenhouse gases from low-Earth orbit and get big-picture views of different parts of the world, GeoCorp must remain in orbit at a high altitude of 22,236 miles (35,786 kilometers) from a fixed location. North and South America. St. Germain said that that different and more forward-looking approach is more difficult and expensive to complete on budget and on time.
Equipment costs have more than doubled, he said, adding non-technical issues later. The agency has already spent $170 million on the now-cancelled program and won’t spend more.
“This does not reflect any reduction in our commitment to science, observations related to greenhouse gases and climate change,” St. Germain said in an interview Tuesday. “We’re still committed to doing that science. But we may have to do it in a different way because we don’t see this tool coming together.
Monitoring of greenhouse gases, the main cause of global warming, is important on several levels. It can help detect leaks, tell about methane, or hold companies and countries to account that have pledged to reduce emissions. Beyond governments, many private companies now monitor greenhouse gases via satellite.
In its place, NASA is looking to launch an as-yet-undecided Earth-based mission, designed to be larger and less risky. The space agency receives methane data from a special instrument on the International Space Station that is supposed to look for mineral dust. Dynamic greenhouse gas monitoring by phone European and Japanese space agency methane monitoring satellites and some commercial and non-profit organizations, she said.
NASA also has two dedicated satellites that monitor carbon dioxide, a key greenhouse gas.
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