May the Forest Be with You: GEDI Moves Toward Launch To Space Station
The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation – or GEDI, pronounced like "Jedi," of Star Wars fame – instrument is undergoing final integration and testing this spring and summer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland. The instrument is expected to launch aboard SpaceX's 16th commercial resupply services mission, targeted for late 2018. GEDI is being led by the University of Maryland, College Park; the instrument is being built at NASA Goddard.
From its perch on the exterior of the orbiting laboratory, GEDI will be the first space-borne laser instrument to measure the structure of Earth's tropical and temperate forests in high resolution and three dimensions. These measurements will help fill in critical gaps in scientists' understanding of how much carbon is stored in the world's forests, the potential for ecosystems to absorb rising concentrations of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere, and the impact of forest changes on biodiversity.
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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center