NASA Earth science mission once slated for cancellation ready for launch

WASHINGTON — A nearly billion-dollar mission to study the Earth’s oceans and atmosphere is ready to launch after surviving several cancellation attempts earlier in its development.
A Falcon 9 is scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex 40 Feb. 6 at 1:33 a.m. Eastern. The vehicle will place into sun-synchronous orbit NASA’s Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem, or PACE, spacecraft.
PACE carries three instruments designed to study the ocean as well as clouds and aerosols in the atmosphere. Ocean Color Instrument (OCI), the primary instrument, will provide information on ocean color from ultraviolet to infrared wavelengths. It is accompanied by the Hyper Angular Research Polarimeter (HARP2) and Spectro-polarimeter for Planetary Exploration (SPEXone), which will provide data on atmospheric clouds and aerosols as well as support atmospheric correction of OCI data.
“PACE is going to so profoundly advance our understanding about how our

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