NZ to contribute $26m, to be control destination for climate change space mission

Anna Whyte
Source: 1News

New Zealand is to be the mission control destination for an international space mission to help combat climate change. 

Research Minister Megan Woods announced the Government would put $26 million towards a  MethaneSAT - designed to locate and measure methane pollution from oil and gas facilities around the world. 

It looks at the extent of methane emissions, where it comes from, as well as which places have the biggest potential to drop methane emissions. 

The launch of the MethaneSAT is scheduled for 2022, with the location of mission control yet to be announced. 

"This is an ambitious science partnership between New Zealand and the Environmental Defense Fund that will see New Zealand at the forefront of developing and applying world-leading technology to the global challenge of managing greenhouse gas emissions," Dr Woods said. 

"This investment will build important capability in our rapidly growing space sector and put New Zealand at the global frontier of science and innovation by building partnerships with world-leading atmospheric scientists."

Dr Woods said while the Environmental Defense Fund's priority was to collect the emission data from the oil and gas industry, "we will investigate the possibility of New Zealand using the data to lead an agricultural science component of the mission".