Japan will launch a satellite to monitor greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere on Monday. The GOSAT-2 spacecraft will lift off aboard an H-IIA rocket during a twelve-minute window opening at 13:08 local time (04:08 UTC).
GOSAT-2, which will be named Ibuki 2 after launch, is a successor to the Ibuki satellite that was launched in 2009. GOSAT-2 will continue Ibuki’s mission of recording long-term measurements of greenhouse gas levels in the Earth’s atmosphere – contributing to research into climate change and helping scientists to predict future changes with increased certainty.
Enhancements to the satellite over its predecessor will also allow it to improve models of ecosystems and sources of emission – such as forest fires and the oceans. A new objective for GOSAT-2 will be to study how humans and changes in the climate have affected the carbon cycle on a subcontinental scale. The data collected by GOSAT-2 will help drive the Japanese Government’s policies on climate change, as well as influencing the international community.
GOSAT-2 will monitor greenhouse gases from a circular sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 613 kilometers (381 miles, 331 nautical miles) and inclination of 97.84 degrees, revisiting each point of observation every three days. ...