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Orbiting Carbon Observatory
Also called ESSP 5


Designation n/a
Launch date 24 Feb 2009
Country of origin United States
Mission Observation of high atmosphere
Perigee/Apogee 700 km
Launch vehicle Taurus #8

Built for NASA JPL, worth $39 million

End of life

Out of service Launch failure
Cause Separation problem. The root caused was not discovered immediately. In 2019 an investigation concluded that SPI altered test results provided to OSC. SPI agreed to pay $46 million to US government.

Would have collected and disseminates precise global measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the Earth's atmosphere to scientists studying global climate change.

Technical data


Prime contractor OSC
Platform LeoStar-2
Mass at launch 407 kg
Dry mass  
Solar array  
DC power  
Design lifetime 2 years

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