PARIS — Mitsubishi Electric Corp. (Melco) on Dec. 12 said it will build the GOSAT-2 greenhouse-gas-monitoring satellite for Japan’s space agency, with a launch scheduled in 2017.
Tokyo-based Melco said it is currently under a preliminary engineering contract with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA, for GOSAT-2, which will be followed in April by an authorization to proceed with full-scale development.
GOSAT-2 will be the successor to the GOSAT satellite launched in 2009. JAXA has said it plans at least two additional GOSAT satellites to continue the series.
In its statement, Melco said that in addition to building the GOSAT-2 satellite, a role it performed for the first GOSAT, the company will manage development of the GOSAT-2 sensors and ground system and will help operate the spacecraft in orbit.
JAXA is joined by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment and the National Institute for Environmental Studies in backing the GOSAT program, which is one of several satellite efforts underway to develop a globally accepted framework for measuring greenhouse-gas emissions.
Europe’s Carbonsat, which is a candidate mission under evaluation by the European Sapce Agency; and the U.S. Orbital Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2, which is scheduled for launch in 2014, are two of these.
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