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Jet Propulsion Laboratory Missions to Study Climate Change & Weather on Earth

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is known for its exploration of space, but the La Cañada Flintridge facility is starting to focus its gaze back to Earth. Three new missions scheduled to launch in 2014 will examine soil moisture, wind, and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The data obtained from the orbiters sent on these missions can be used by farmers, meteorologists and others in understanding how the planet works, scientists said. “Last year was the year of Mars,” said JPL Director Charles Elachi on Tuesday. “This is the year of Earth science.” Elachi and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden donned white coveralls and head coverings Tuesday during a tour of a chamber in JPL’s spacecraft assembly facility, also known as the “clean room,” where instruments for the missions are currently being assembled and tested. The Carbon Observatory-2 satellite was absent from the test facility, but talk of the upcoming mission led to discussions about how the agency will address the changing global climate…

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