MethaneSAT picks SpaceX for satellite launch to track methane levels in Earth's atmosphere


A SpaceX rocket will launch a new satellite to track the amount of methane in Earth's atmosphere in 2022. MethaneSAT, the small satellite is designed specifically to locate, quantify and track global methane emissions. SpaceX has signed on to launch the satellite into orbit aboard a Falcon 9 rocket during a launch window that opens Oct. 1, 2022. Steven Hamburg, co-leader of the MethaneSAT mission, said This is a unique mission on an ambitious timeline. SpaceX offers the readiness and reliability we need to deliver our instrument into orbit and begin streaming emissions data as soon as possible. We couldn’t ask for a more capable launch partner. Brownstein, EDF Senior Vice President for Energy, said Reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas industry is the fastest, most cost-effective way we have to slow the rate of [global] warming right now, even as we continue to decarbonize the energy system. MethaneSAT is designed to create transparency and accountability to make sure companies and governments don’t miss that opportunity. The satellite is currently under construction after completing an intensive design process. The completion and launch of MethaneSAT is funded in part by a $100 million grant given to the EDF from the Bezos Earth Fund. The MethaneSAT mission will provide global, high-resolution detection of methane emissions from oil and gas facilities, as well as measure emissions from other human-generated methane sources, with greater precision than existing satellites or other sensors. MethaneSAT data widely available, the organization hopes that the satellite can be used to reduce methane emissions in target areas and help combat climate change around the world.

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