Image credit: EDF

Early next year, the Environmental Defense Fund is launching its own spacecraft, MethaneSAT – a name that is exact about what this satellite is seeking.

Methane is a troublesome gas. While far less abundant, it is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide in entrapping heat over a 100-year time period. Furthermore, methane affects air quality as it contributes to ground level ozone, a hazardous air pollutant.

Private initiative

Planet-wide, high-resolution detection and quantification of methane emissions is viewed as part of an action-based, data-gathering agenda. However, gauging which specific sources are responsible for variations in the methane annual increase is multifaceted.

MethaneSAT carries a high-performance spectrometer-based methane sensing system. Shown here is the satellite and instrument fully integrated.
Image credit: Ball Aerospace

MethaneSat is a private initiative, reportedly a $90 million venture on the hunt to find destructive global methane emissions with extraordinary precision. A New York-based advocacy group, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has a long-standing interest in the methane topic of concern, but this space approach is unique.

For more information on MethaneSAT, go to my new Multiverse Media SpaceRef story – “MethaneSAT — A Watchdog in Space to Spot Whiffs of Methane” – at:

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