Space Agencies Welcome New Entrants Developing Satellites for Tracking Greenhouse Gases

Space.com | 10/15/2018 | Staff
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BREMEN, Germany — As a growing number of organizations propose satellites to monitor greenhouse gases, national space agencies who already operate such spacecraft welcome those new entrants — as long as they're willing to share their results.

Missions to track emissions of such gases by human activities, once solely in the realm of major space agencies, are now being considered by state governments, non-profit organizations and companies, seeking to leverage advances in small satellites to fill perceived gaps in what data is already available.

Company - GHGSat - Sept - Series - A2

One company, Montreal-based GHGSat, announced Sept. 24 it has raised $10 million in what it called a "Series A2" funding round. The funding, the company said, will expand its commercialization efforts and fund an additional satellite. The company launched one satellite in 2016 and plans to launch two more next year.

The funding, GHGSat Chief Executive Stéphane Germain said in a statement, "also secures access to some of the largest customers in the world for our services. We're very excited for this next stage of our growth."

Funding - Round - GHGSat - Days - California

The funding round for GHGSat came 10 days after California Gov. Jerry Brown announced the state would develop and launch its own satellite to track greenhouse gases. "This groundbreaking initiative will help governments, businesses and landowners pinpoint – and stop – destructive emissions with unprecedented precision, on a scale that's never been done before," he said in remarks at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco Sept. 14.

The satellite will be developed by San Francisco-based Planet in collaboration with the state government "and others," Brown's office said in a statement. Neither the governor nor the company disclosed additional details about the proposed satellite, including its cost, funding source or schedule.

Spacecraft - Spacecraft - MethaneSAT - Environmental - Defense

That spacecraft is designed to be complementary with another privately-developed spacecraft, MethaneSAT, that the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) announced in April it planned...
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