NASA has awarded United Launch Alliance and SpaceX contracts worth nearly $500 million to launch four Earth-observing mission spacecraft. The contracts provide $412 million to ULA for three Delta II launches and $82 million to SpaceX for a Falcon 9 mission, all from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., in 2014-16. The ULA lineup is: NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) mission, a spacecraft designed to monitor natural and man-made sources of carbon dioxide accumulations in the global ...

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