The satellite mission tasks it with surveying specific spots on Earth every 16 days by recording the type of sunlight that reflects off of the atmosphere. Scientists can measure CO2 by evaluating the color and intensity of these reflections, and will compare this data to carbon measuring devices on the ground to map out where our emissions are going. NASA hopes to use this data to create better predictions for future atmospheric carbon increases. It's not as exciting as one of SpaceX's launches, but missions like this are the stuff that could help keep Earth clean in the long run. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory is scheduled to launch in the early hours of July 1st. Check out the source links below for full details.
Update: A day later than originally planned, the OCO-2 satellite is about to be blasted skyward from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and you can watch the launch live on NASA TV.
[Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech]