GRACE-FO Mission Is Ready for Space

The photo shows the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) being stacked for its rideshare to space with Iridium Communications satellites in a SpaceX processing facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Launch is scheduled for Tuesday, May 22, at 12:47 p.m. PDT.

As of Saturday, meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force’s 30th Space Wing were predicting a greater than 90 percent chance of favorable weather for liftoff on Tuesday.

GRACE-FO’s five-year mission will monitor the continuous movement of water masses across the planet and mass changes within Earth itself. The mission’s measurements of changes in ice sheets and glaciers, underground water storage, deep ocean currents, and other parts of Earth’s water cycle give a unique view of our climate and offer far-reaching benefits. The mission is a collaboration between NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences.

There will be a prelaunch briefing tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. PDT/1:30 p.m. EDT. You can watch live coverage of the briefing at or and ask questions via NASA social media, using the hashtag #askNASA.

Credit: Iridium Communications Inc.