SpaceX just launched a critical NASA climate instrument into space

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SpaceX launched the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 (OCO-3) to the International Space Station (ISS) at 2:48 a.m. ET on Saturday morning aboard the company’s dependable Falcon 9 rocket. After NASA’s cargo load arrives at the ISS, astronauts will use a long robotic arm to attach the refrigerator-sized instrument to the side of the earth-orbiting station. ‘

OCO-3 will peer down on Earth, keeping tabs on the planet’s amassing carbon dioxide emissions, which are now at their highest levels in millions of years.’

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Publisher: Mashable
Date: 2019-05-04T13:38:15Z
Author: Mark Kaufman
Twitter: @mashable
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SpaceX just blasted a critical NASA instrument into space

After the SpaceX rocket lifted into space, the booster ‘ the bottom portion of the rocket containing nine powerful engines ‘ returned to Earth. It successfully landed on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.’

NASA had slated the launch for late April, but asked SpaceX to delay it until the space agency could fix a power distribution problem on the ISS ‘ which is currently home to six astronauts and cosmonauts.’

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Carbon-monitoring instrument poised for launch to International Space Station

A $110 million NASA science instrument twice targeted for cancellation by the Trump administration is set for launch Tuesday inside the trunk of a SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule for delivery to the International Space Station, where it will spend three years charting changing carbon dioxide concentrations in Earth’s atmosphere.

Once mounted outside the space station’s Kibo lab module, the instrument package will scan the planet between 52 degrees north and 52 degrees south latitude with the sensitivity to measure carbon dioxide levels to a precision better than one part per million, or within about 0.3 to 0.5 percent of the total carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere.

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NASA safety panel urges patience with SpaceX mishap probe

The spacecraft in question, known as the Demo 1 vehicle, carried out a successful unpiloted maiden flight to the International Space Station last month. It was being readied for a critical in-flight abort test to help pave the way for the first crewed mission using a different Crew Dragon, a mission known as Demo 2, this summer.

But those plans are now on hold in the wake of a mishap last Saturday during a static firing of the Demo 1 capsule’s abort engines on a test stand at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 conducts Saturday launch of CRS

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft has begun its CRS-17 resupply mission to the International Space Station with launch aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral. Falcon 9 launched at 02:48 Eastern Time (06:48 UTC) on Saturday, deploying Dragon into orbit less than ten minutes later. The launch came after a 24 hour delay due to a scrub caused by a power outage on the booster recovery drone ship ‘Of Course I Still Love You’.

Dragon’s CRS-17 mission is being flown as part of NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) program, which uses commercial spacecraft to deliver cargo to the space station. SpaceX and Northrop Grumman carry out these missions for NASA, using the Dragon and Cygnus spacecraft respectively.

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