Launching U.S./German GRACE-FO (live broadcast)
Original air date: May 22 at 12:15 p.m. PDT (3:15 p.m. EDT)
A joint mission with the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), GRACE-FO will provide critical measurements that will be used together with other data to monitor the movement of water masses across the planet and mass changes within Earth itself. Monitoring changes in ice sheets and glaciers, underground water storage, and sea level provides a unique view of Earth's climate and has far-reaching benefits. The mission is planned to fly at least five years.
The satellites will launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket no earlier than 12:47 p.m. PDT (3:47 p.m. EDT) May 22 from Space Launch Complex-4E at Vandenberg. GRACE-FO will share its ride to orbit with five Iridium NEXT communications satellites as part of a commercial rideshare agreement.
JPL manages the GRACE-FO mission for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. GFZ contracted GRACE-FO launch services from Iridium, and SpaceX is providing the Falcon 9 launch service.
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