CO2 Satellite: NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 Mission in Photos

Observatory at Vandenberg Air Force Base


The spacecraft now will undergo final tests and then be integrated on top of a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket in preparation for a planned July 1 launch.

The CO2 Column That OCO-2 Will See

Created by Debbi McLean/GSFC JPL/NASA

Artist rendition of the CO2 column that OCO-2 will see.


OCO-2 Logo Designed by Harman Smith/Raytheon.

El Niño Raises CO2 Levels


Data from NASA's OCO-2 satellite has helped researchers determine that a strong El Niño season between 2015 and 2016 led to a record spike in global atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Regional Effects of El Niño on CO2


The 2015-2016 El Niño season affected the amount of carbon dioxide that Earth’s tropical regions released into the atmosphere. The effects were different in each region.

Scanning for CO2


An artist's illustration shows NASA's OCO-2 satellite collecting data over the Los Angeles Basin.

How Much Photosynthesis Happens Around Chicago?


The OCO-2 satellite measured the solar-induced fluorescence (SIF) — a measure of how much photosynthesis occurs in plants — in the Chicago area. The data shows low levels of SIF over the urban area in purple and higher levels of SIF over agricultural areas to the south (in green).

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