If all goes as planned, a satellite weighing just more than 770 pounds will be launched into space and orbit the Earth once every 90 minutes, assessing what lies beneath.

Its mission: detect methane emissions, main­ly from oil and gas sites across the world, from about 500 kilometers above the earth.

The satellite is the centerpiece of an $88 mil­lion donor-funded effort led by the Environmen­tal Defense Fund (EDF), a New York-headquar­tered nonprofit environmental advocacy group. MethaneSAT, an affiliate of EDF, said the sat­ellite will pinpoint methane-emitting sites and the magnitude of such emissions using a wide, 200-kilometer view path.

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