Update: Launch Coverage of Earth-Observing Satellites

dates have been set for the prelaunch briefing and
launch of the Gravity
Recovery and Climate Experiment
Follow-On (GRACE-FO), NASA’s latest
Earth-observing satellite mission.
The briefing, now scheduled
for Monday, May 21, and launch no earlier than Tuesday,
22, will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website, and will be streamed
live and archived on https://youtube.com/nasajpl/live.

A joint mission
with the German Research Centre for
Geosciences (GFZ), GRACE-FO will provide critical
that will be used together with other data to monitor the
of water masses across the planet and mass changes
within Earth itself.
Monitoring changes in ice sheets and
glaciers, underground water storage, and
sea level provides a
unique view of Earth’s climate and has far-reaching
The mission is planned to fly at least five years.

The prelaunch news briefing will be held at 10:30
a.m. PDT
(1:30 p.m. EDT) May 21 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in

Media and the public also may ask questions
during the event
via social media using the hashtag #askNASA.

Briefing participants
will be:

  • David Jarrett, GRACE-FO program executive in
    the Earth
    Science Division at NASA Headquarters
  • Frank Webb, GRACE-FO project scientist at
    NASA’s Jet
    Propulsion Laboratory
  • Frank Flechtner, GRACE-FO project manager at
  • Phil Morton, NASA GRACE-FO project manager at
    Propulsion Laboratory
  • Capt. Jennifer Haden, weather officer for the
    30th Space
    Wing at Vandenberg

The satellites will
launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket no
earlier than 12:47 p.m. PDT (3:47 p.m. EDT)
May 22 from Space
Launch Complex-4E at Vandenberg. GRACE-FO will share its ride
to orbit with five Iridium NEXT communications satellites as
part of a commercial
rideshare agreement.

Launch coverage
begins at 12:15 p.m. PDT (3:15 p.m. EDT) on
NASA Television and the agency’s

manages the GRACE-FO mission for the agency’s Science
Mission Directorate in
Washington. GFZ contracted GRACE-FO
launch services from Iridium, and SpaceX is
providing the
Falcon 9 launch service.

Join the
conversation online and follow GRACE-FO on Twitter
and Facebook at:




News Media Contact

Alan Buis
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Steve Cole
NASA Headquarters, Washington


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.