Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday June 13, @07:32AM   Printer-friendly
from the getting-back-lost-gravity dept.

Less than three weeks after launch, the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission has successfully completed its first mission phase and demonstrated the performance of the precise microwave ranging system that enables its unique measurements of how mass migrates around our planet.

The twin spacecraft launched May 22 from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base. NASA and German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) engineers and mission controllers at the German Space Operations Center in Oberpfaffenhofen then spent the first few days completing the mission's launch and early operations phase and moving into an 85-day in-orbit checkout period. Science operations will begin when that period has been successfully completed.

During the initial phase, the twin GRACE-FO satellites were maneuvered into their operational orbit formation approximately 137 miles (220 kilometers) apart. Spacecraft systems were powered on, checked out and found to be performing as expected. Engineers also activated both primary instruments: the accelerometers, which measure forces on the satellites other than gravity, such as atmospheric drag or solar radiation pressure; and the microwave ranging instruments, which precisely measure the distance changes between the two satellites as they orbit Earth. Variations in Earth's gravity field caused by changes in the distribution of Earth's mass on and beneath the planet's surface—such as groundwater withdrawal and ice melt—cause the distance between the two satellites to vary ever so slightly.

[...] GRACE-FO data will provide unique insights into Earth's changing climate, including large-scale changes in our planet's ice sheets and glaciers; Earth system processes that define our environment, such as droughts and earthquakes; and even the impacts of some human activities, such as changes in the levels of aquifers resulting from pumping underground water for use in agriculture. GRACE-FO observations promise to provide far-reaching benefits to society.


Original Submission

 

Reply to: Re:Chairman Kim wants you to know he is very grate

    (Score: 3, Informative) by bob_super on Wednesday June 13, @06:30PM

    by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday June 13, @06:30PM (#692453)

    In a game of thermonuclear war, an individual wastebasket doesn't quite matter, because there's always another wastebasket available.
    City centers and datacenters don't move.

Post Comment

Edit Comment You are not logged in. You can log in now using the convenient form below, or Create an Account, or post as Anonymous Coward.

Public Terminal

Anonymous Coward [ Create an Account ]

Use the Preview Button! Check those URLs!


Logged-in users aren't forced to preview their comments. Create an Account!

Allowed HTML
<b|i|p|br|a|ol|ul|li|dl|dt|dd|em|strong|tt|blockquote|div|ecode|quote|sup|sub|abbr|sarc|sarcasm|user|spoiler|del|s|strike>

URLs
<URL:http://example.com/> will auto-link a URL

Important Stuff

  • Please try to keep posts on topic.
  • Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads.
  • Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said.
  • Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about.
  • Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)
  • If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

If you are having a problem with accounts or comment posting, please yell for help.