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