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Next-generation GRACE satellites arrive at launch site

13 December 2017

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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.

Source: NASA

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.

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