Former Vice President Al Gore, a long time supporter of environmental awareness saw one of his long time dreams come true this Wednesday. The mission, first proposed in the late 1990s, originally named Triana, was an idea for satellite that would carry Earth-observing instruments, including a camera called EPIC, which produces photos of the full, sunlit earth from nearly 1 million miles away. Gore hoped that pictures of Earth, available on the Internet, could help raise awareness. The mission proposed by Gore had numerous setbacks due to political opposition, and by 2000, the launch was abandoned into a storage closet.
Elon Musk, aka Iron Man, really does make dreams come. Collaborating with NASA and their storage closet, Musk set about launching a Falcon 9 rocket along with a $340 Deep Space Climate Observatory mission, or DSCOVR, on Sunday evening. Despite excellent weather conditions, faulty radar caused SpaceX and Air Force to delay the launch to Monday, which was then delayed until Tuesday, which was then delayed until Wednesday, which took off.
DSCOVR will carry along with Gore’s EPIC camera, a monitor to measure solar storms that can damage satellites, power grids, and infrastructure. Additionally, SpaceX had intended to make its second attempt to re-land the Falcon 9’s booster upon a platform at sea. However, due to extreme weather conditions in the Atlantic, where waves are reaching up to three stories in height, SpaceX doesn’t have much certainty in sucess. They will still attempt to have a “soft landing” in the water, but with such a large storm, it is unlikely it will survive.
Just become Elon Musk’s dreams haven’t come true, doesn’t mean that Al Gore’s didn’t too, though.
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