GRACE-FO Satellites Headed For Launch Site | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Most Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Airborne-Monday

Airborne-Tuesday

Airborne-Wednesday Airborne-Thursday

Airborne-Friday

Airborne On YouTube

Airborne-Unlimited-04.01.24

Airborne-Unlimited-04.16.24

Airborne-FlightTraining-04.17.24 Airborne-AffordableFlyers-04.18.24

Airborne-Unlimited-04.19.24

Join Us At 0900ET, Friday, 4/10, for the LIVE Morning Brief.
Watch It LIVE at
www.airborne-live.net

Sat, Dec 16, 2017

GRACE-FO Satellites Headed For Launch Site

German-Built Gravity Research Spacecraft Are On The Way To Vandenberg Air Force Base In California

The twin GRACE-FO satellites have begun their journey to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Together with test equipment totalling around 50 tons, the gravity research satellites built and developed by Airbus in Friedrichshafen (Germany) were loaded overnight onto an air freighter at Munich airport and flown to the U.S. Tuesday. GRACE-FO is a joint project between NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) based in Pasadena, California, and the German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ) in Potsdam.

Both GRACE-FO research satellites are scheduled for launch in spring 2018, and will be placed in a polar orbit of around 310 miles and with a distance of 136 miles between them. The mission is planned to last at least five years. The satellites will constantly measure the distance between each other to within a few microns using a microwave system built at JPL. At the same time, a sensitive accelerometer, built at Onera in France, will account for non-gravitational effects, such as atmospheric drag and solar radiation.

The data will be used to track the movement of liquid water, ice and land masses by creating monthly maps of the changes in Earth’s gravitational field. GRACE-FO continues this essential climate record established by the predecessor GRACE mission, a joint project between the United States and Germany. GRACE ended its science operations in October after more than 15 years of operations.

The GRACE-FO satellites will also feature a new inter-satellite laser ranging instrument, developed in a German/American joint venture, which will be tested for use in future generations of satellites. In addition, each satellite will record up to 200 profiles per day of temperature distribution and water-vapour content in the atmosphere and the ionosphere to aid weather forecasting.

A team of 15 Airbus space engineers and technicians are currently awaiting the arrival of the satellites in California. The plan is to assemble all test systems on site and check the GRACE-FO spacecraft before the Christmas break in readiness for the launch campaign in 2018.

(Images provided with Airbus news release)

FMI: www.airbus.com

Advertisement

More News

Aero-News: Quote of the Day (04.17.24)

"Sometimes, growth makes it easy to miss the little things, and today's "little guy" is smarting more than ever just looking at the price tags of "cheap" aircraft. Poberezny, seein>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (04.17.24)

Aero Linx: Space Medicine Association (SMA) The Space Medicine Association of the Aerospace Medical Association is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific>[...]

Airborne-Flight Training 04.17.24: Feds Need Controllers, Spirit Delay, Redbird

Also: Martha King Scholarship, Montaer Grows, Textron Updates Pistons, FlySto The FAA is hiring thousands of air traffic controllers, but the window to apply will only be open for >[...]

Airborne 04.16.24: RV Update, Affordable Flying Expo, Diamond Lil

Also: B-29 Superfortress Reunion, FAA Wants Controllers, Spirit Airlines Pulls Back, Gogo Galileo Van's Aircraft posted a short video recapping the goings-on around their reorganiz>[...]

Airborne 04.11.24: SnF24!, King's 50th, Top Rudder, Aileronics

Also: Flight Club, Jet Shades, MyGoFlight’s FlightFlix Acquisition FIFTY YEARS! What a milestone for the aviation world’s master aero-education duo! John, Martha, along>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2024 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC