Hon Dr Megan Woods
Minister for Research, Science and Innovation
06 November 2019
Mission Control for an international space mission to help tackle climate change will be based in New Zealand, with the
Government putting $26 million towards the state-of-the-art satellite, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Dr
Megan Woods announced today.
The MethaneSAT is designed to locate and measure methane from human sources worldwide, which will provide the data to
track and reduce those emissions. A key feature of the agreement that has been signed is that the mission control centre
will be located in New Zealand.
“This is an ambitious science partnership between New Zealand and the Environmental Defense Fund that will see New
Zealand at the forefront of developing and applying world-leading technology to the global challenge of managing
greenhouse gas emissions,” Megan Woods said.
“This investment will build important capability in our rapidly growing space sector and put New Zealand at the global
frontier of science and innovation by building partnerships with world-leading atmospheric scientists.
“Climate change is a complex, global issue that this Government is committed to addressing. We are delivering on that
commitment through this Space mission.
The methane satellite is yet another step towards achieving the Government’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,
following significant investments this year, including:
• $8.5 million in the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases to reduce and mitigate agricultural
• $25 million for the Agricultural Climate Change Research Platform to support New Zealand research to help agriculture
deal with the effects of climate change
“While the Environmental Defense Fund’s initial priority for the mission is to collect emissions data from the oil and
gas industry, we will investigate the possibility of New Zealand using the data to lead an agricultural science
component of the mission,” Megan Woods said.
MethaneSAT is scheduled to launch in 2022. MBIE and EDF will confirm the location of the New Zealand-based mission
control centre and New Zealand’s role in the launch and the science components of the mission in coming months.