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GRACE

Background on the GRACE Experiment

GRACEThe Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), is scheduled for launch in March of 2002 for an expected lifetime of 5 years. It will consist of 2 identical spacecraft flying about 220 km apart in a polar orbit around 500 km above the Earth. Its primary mission will be to make measurements of the time varying gravity field of the Earth. Each spacecraft will carry a Blackjack GPS receiver which, in addition, will acquire GPS occultation measurements. One receiver's antenna will be pointing in the fore direction while the other will be pointing in the aft direction. Each receiver is expected to capture about 200-250 occultations per day.

The project is an international collaboration sponsored by NASA and the Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Luft und Raumfahrt (DLR). The Principal investigator is Dr. Byron Tapley from the University of Texas Center for Space Research (UTCSR), and the Co-Principal Investigator is Dr. Christoph Reigber from GFZ. The project managementand systems engineering activities are carried out by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Atmospheric profiling will be done at the two main centers, JPL, and GFZ.

1st GRACE Occultations Announcement

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