NASA is getting ready for the launch of its next mission called the GRACE-FO (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On) mission. The main aim of the mission will be to observe and map the changes occurring in water and ice in all parts of the world by identifying the gravity variations in different places.
The mission consists of two similar space crafts that will be orbiting the Earth in tandem. Both the satellites are currently scheduled to launch atop the Falcon 9 rocket of SpaceX from California’s Vandenberg Air Force base on 19th May at 4:03 pm EDT. After it has deployed the GRACE-FO satellite about 490 kilometers above the Earth, the rocket will be delivering five communication satellites of Iridium Next into a bit higher orbit.
As the name indicates, the GRACE-FO is a follow-up the mission of the real GRACE mission which was used to map our planet’s gravity field from the year 2002 to 2017. Both missions were jointly carried out by the GFZ German Research Center