Earth Observation Mission News
Next-generation GRACE satellites arrive at launch site
13 December 2017
A pair of advanced U.S./German Earth research satellites with some very big shoes to fill is now at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base to begin final preparations for launch next spring.
Following a year-long test campaign by satellite manufacturer Airbus Defence and Space at IABG in Ottobrunn, near Munich, Germany, the twin Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) satellites were loaded aboard an air freighter at Munich airport 11 December and arrived at the launch site on California's central coast Tuesday, 12 December. GRACE-FO will provide continuity to the Earth climate data record of the extremely successful predecessor GRACE, which completed its science mission in October after more than 15 years in orbit.
Image credit: USAF - A crate containing one of the twin Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) satellites is off-loaded from an air freighter.