March 17, 2002


Artist's concept of Grace

Artist's concept of Grace


Identical twin satellites comprising the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, or Grace, launch on a mission to precisely measure Earth's shifting water masses and map their effects on Earth's gravity field.

The monthly gravity maps generated by Grace will be up to 1,000 times more accurate than those currently in use, substantially improving the accuracy of many techniques used by oceanographers, hydrologists, glaciologists, geologists and other scientists to study phenomena that influence climate. These phenomena range from shallow and deep ocean currents, water movement on and beneath Earth's surface, and the movement and changing mass of ice sheets, to sea-level heights, sea-level rise and changes in the structure of the solid Earth.

The mission is a joint endeavor between NASA and the German Center for Air and Space Flight.

See also: Grace home page

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