Orbital Sciences, one of the world’s leading space technology companies, today announced the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite, built by the company for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA, has successfully arrived at its operational orbit at the head of a group of NASA and international scientific satellites known as the Afternoon Constellation, or “A-Train,” which fly in formation to collect environmental data for the same location on Earth almost simultaneously.
“With the instrument’s initial checkout complete and the return of the first science data, we are very pleased to be able to support JPL as part of the OCO-2 team in conducting this extremely important science mission.”
“The OCO-2 mission has achieved all checkout objectives on or ahead of schedule since launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base just over a month ago. The post-launch operations, including the critical maneuvering of the satellite into the A-Train, have all gone very smoothly,” said Mr. Joseph Bushman, Orbital’s OCO-2 Program Manager. “With the instrument’s initial checkout complete and the return of the first science data, we are very pleased to be able to support JPL as part of the OCO-2 team in conducting this extremely important science mission.”
The OCO-2 satellite was initially deployed into a 428-mile (688-kilometer) polar orbit during the mission’s launch operations that took place on July 2, 2014. In the weeks that followed, satellite controllers at Orbital’s Dulles, VA Mission Operations Center (MOC) successfully commanded OCO-2 through in-orbit tests of its critical subsystems, as well as a series of nine orbit-raising maneuvers to reach the A-Train orbit at 438 miles (705 kilometers) above the Earth. The OCO-2 team also has successfully tested the onboard instrument, recently capturing initial science data, known as “first light,” as it was activated in preparation for the beginning of full science operations later in 2014.
Source: Orbital Sciences Corporation
Date: Aug 12, 2014