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Taurus XL launch scheduled

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- With the fairing door off, Orbital Science's Jose Castillo and Mark Neuse remove the fairing payload access door on NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory spacecraft on Launch Complex 576-E here. Orbital Science's Glenn Weigle and Brett Gladish stand by to take the GN2 flow reading The encapsulated OCO tops Orbital Sciences' Taurus XL rocket, which is scheduled to launch Feb. 24. The spacecraft will collect precise global measurements of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere. (Photo courtesy of NASA)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- With the fairing door off, Orbital Science's Jose Castillo and Mark Neuse remove the fairing payload access door on NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory spacecraft on Launch Complex 576-E here. Orbital Science's Glenn Weigle and Brett Gladish stand by to take the GN2 flow reading The encapsulated OCO tops Orbital Sciences' Taurus XL rocket, which is scheduled to launch Feb. 24. The spacecraft will collect precise global measurements of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere. (Photo courtesy of NASA)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --  On Launch Complex 576-E here, the cables from the crane overhead are removed from NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory upper stack. OCO is scheduled for launch the Taurus rocket Feb. 24 from Vandenberg. The spacecraft will collect precise global measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth's atmosphere. (Photo courtesy of NASA)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- On Launch Complex 576-E here, the cables from the crane overhead are removed from NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory upper stack. OCO is scheduled for launch the Taurus rocket Feb. 24 from Vandenberg. The spacecraft will collect precise global measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth's atmosphere. (Photo courtesy of NASA)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A Taurus XL rocket, carrying the NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite, is scheduled to launch at approximately 1:50 a.m. Tuesday from Space Launch Complex 576-E here.

Col. David Buck, 30th Space Wing commander, will be the Western Range launch decision authority for this mission.

The OCO is the first spacecraft dedicated to the study of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere. The goal of the satellite is to increase scientific understanding of not only where carbon dioxide comes from, but also where it ends up.