3-2-1 liftoff of Falcon 9 with GRACE-FO! The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-on, or GRACE-FO, a collaboration between NASA and German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on California's Central Coast on May 22, 2018. The twin orbiters shared a ride to space with five Iridium NEXT communications satellites. GRACE-FO will continue a study begun by the original GRACE mission, which proved that water movement can be tracked with high precision by its effect on Earth's gravitational field. GRACE-FO will continue the record of regional variations in gravity, telling us about changes in glaciers, ground water, sea levels and the health of our planet as a whole. For more, visit https://gracefo.jpl.nasa.gov .
NASA's GRACE-FO team plans to switch to a backup system in the Microwave Instrument on one of the twin spacecraft this month.
The laser ranging interferometer (LRI) instrument has been successfully switched on aboard the recently launched twin U.S./German Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) satellites.
Antarctic ice losses have tripled since 2012, raising global sea levels by 0.12 inch (3 millimeters) in that timeframe alone, finds a new NASA/ESA-funded climate assessment.
GRACE-FO has completed its first mission phase and demonstrated the performance of the precise ranging system that enables its measurements of how mass migrates around Earth.
All flight and ground systems have performed well throughout the Launch and Early Operations Period. The accelerometer and microwave science instruments have been powered on successfully and the two satellites are in relative pointing mode.