Red Orbit and the BBC reported that Europe’s EarthCARE space laser mission was given a green light to move forward with the program, despite a likely 30 percent increase in the program’s final costs.
The satellite will be put into orbit to study what type of role clouds and atmospheric particles have in a changing climate.
Astrium-France, the primary contractor for the spacecraft, has had an extremely difficult time finding a design that will reliably work in the vacuum of space. A re-configuration of the lidar has added close to 200 million dollars (140m euros) to the projected total cost of the mission. It has also delayed the mission’s launch date to 2016 — two years later than previously planned.