MethaneSAT, due to be launched in 2022, is designed to locate
and measure methane from human sources worldwide, and will
provide data to track and reduce those emissions, the government
said in a statement.
The project with the Environmental Defense Fund, a U.S.-based
non profit group, marks New Zealand's first collaboration in a
state-funded space mission.
It will host the mission control center for the satellite, to be
launched in 2022, and invest NZ$26 million ($16.6 million) in
"A key part of the NZ$26 million investment will be funding the
construction and operation of the New Zealand base mission
control center," Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan
Woods told a media conference.
"It will enable us to grow our capabilities in the space sector
and to participate in future space missions."
While the initial priority is to collect emissions data from the
oil and gas industry, New Zealand will also investigate the
possibility of using the data to study agricultural emissions.
Controlling emissions from livestock is a big focus for New
Zealand, which has set a goal for the country to be carbon
neutral by 2025.
(Reporting by Besa Chembo; editing by Praveen Menon and Richard
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