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New Zealand joins MethaneSAT climate mission in space

New Zealand has joined its first official space mission as a country to combat climate change and the mission control centre will be located in New Zealand.

The Government will contribute $26 million towards MethaneSAT, a state-of-the-art satellite designed to detect global methane emissions with unprecedented accuracy. The mission is being led by United States-based NGO Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and its subsidiary MethaneSAT LLC, who have signed a partnership agreement with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Dr Peter Crabtree, GM of Science, Innovation and International at MBIE and head of the New Zealand Space Agency, said that MethaneSAT is exactly the kind of science that New Zealand should be investing in.

“This investment has three key benefits for New Zealand – we are showing global leadership by investing in a science mission that will directly help to fight climate change, we are giving Kiwi researchers the opportunity to join a cutting-edge climate science mission that will see them working alongside the world’s best climate scientists and aerospace experts, and we are building important capability in our rapidly growing space sector,” Dr Crabtree said.