Final November, the Bezos Earth Fund made a $100 million grant to the Environmental Protection Fund to help the satellite tv for pc’s completion and launch. That grant was a part of a $791 million spherical that Bezos mentioned was “just the start of my $10 billion dedication” to deal with challenges introduced on by local weather change.
Now MethaneSAT LLC — a subsidiary of Environmental Protection Fund — is saying that it’s signed a contract with Musk’s SpaceX to ship the satellite tv for pc into orbit on a Falcon 9 rocket by as early as October 2022.
“This can be a distinctive mission on an formidable timeline,” Steven Hamburg, co-lead for the MethaneSAT challenge, mentioned in a information launch issued January 13th. “SpaceX presents the readiness and reliability we have to ship our instrument into orbit and start streaming emissions information as quickly as potential. We couldn’t ask for a extra succesful launch companion.”
MethaneSAT is designed to fill an necessary area of interest within the effort to find and cut back industrial emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse fuel. Methane emissions are thought of the second-largest trigger of worldwide warming, with a lot of the priority specializing in the oil and fuel trade.
Consultants estimate that slicing methane emissions from the oil and fuel trade 45% by the yr 2025 would have the identical 20-year local weather profit as shutting down one-third of the world’s coal-fired energy vegetation.
The concept behind MethaneSAT was unveiled in a TED Discuss given by EDF President Fred Krupp in Vancouver, B.C., in 2018. That kicked off an effort that drew upon seed funding from The Audacious Challenge, a TED initiative. Final September, MethaneSAT introduced the completion of the challenge’s vital design assessment and moved into the challenge’s manufacturing stage.
Different satellites similar to TROPOMI and GHGSat’s industrial constellation are already monitoring atmospheric methane ranges, however MethaneSAT is predicted to offer increased sensitivity and higher spatial decision than TROPOMI, and a a lot wider discipline of view than the GHGSat spacecraft. The mission’s managers plan to stream MethaneSAT’s information on-line at no cost for non-commercial customers.
Knowledge from MethaneSAT and the opposite satellites ought to assist corporations and governments focus their efforts to cut back emissions.
“Lowering methane emissions from the oil and fuel trade is the quickest, most cost-effective means we’ve to sluggish the speed of warming proper now, whilst we proceed to decarbonize the vitality system,” mentioned Mark Brownstein, EDF’s senior vice chairman for vitality. “MethaneSAT is designed to create transparency and accountability to verify corporations and governments don’t miss that chance.”
SpaceX mentioned the satellite tv for pc launch can be organized by way of its SmallSat Rideshare Program, which gives common alternatives to place small-scale payloads into orbit at a worth as little as $1 million.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ privately held house enterprise, Blue Origin, is extensively seen as a competitor for SpaceX, which has Elon Musk as its founder and CEO. The 2 males are neck-and-neck within the competitors for the “world’s richest” title, however Bezos is considerably behind Musk on the subject of orbital launch functionality. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 has been sending payloads to orbit since 2010, whereas Blue Origin’s orbital-class New Glenn rocket hasn’t but gone into service.
Lead picture: An artist’s conception reveals MethaneSAT in orbit. Credit score: MethaneSAT LLC