Earth Observation Mission News
GRACE making plans for final science data collection
14 September 2017
With one of its twin satellites almost out of fuel after more than 15 years of chasing each other around our planet to measure Earth's ever-changing gravity field, the operations team for the U.S./German Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission is making plans for an anticipated final science collection.
On 03 September, one of 20 battery cells aboard the GRACE-2 satellite stopped operating due to an age-related issue. It was the eighth battery cell loss on GRACE-2 since the twin satellites that compose the GRACE mission launched in March 2002 on a mission designed to last five years. The following day, contact was lost with GRACE-2.
Image credit: NASA-JPL/Caltech - Illustration of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) twin satellites in orbit.