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Home / Science / SpaceX will launch 7 satellites for NASA and Iridium today! Here you can see

SpaceX will launch 7 satellites for NASA and Iridium today! Here you can see



  SpaceX will launch 7 satellites for NASA and Iridium today! That's what it looks like

On May 21, 2018, at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the Space Launch Complex 4E will host a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the NASA earth observation satellites GRACE and the five communications satellites Iridium Next. The launch is scheduled for May 22nd.

Credit: Bill Ingalls / NASA

SpaceX will launch two new Earth Observation satellites for NASA and five commercial communications satellites in a ride-share mission today (May 22), which you can follow live online.

NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission and five Iridium Next satellites will launch a used Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 3:47 pm EDT (1

2: 47 PDT, 1947 GMT). You can follow the start live here on Space.com and on our homepage from 15:15 clock. EDT (12:15 PDT, 1915 GMT), courtesy of a NASA television webcast

The Falcon 9 rocket engine launched the secret Zuma mission of the US Air Force in January. (This mission was lost, but SpaceX was not responsible for the mishap.) Although the rocket sustained a flawless landing on its final mission, SpaceX does not plan to attempt a landing for this flight. [The Evolution of SpaceX’s Rockets in Pictures]

The Iridium Next communications satellites launching SpaceX with GRACE-FO are the latest in a series for Iridium Communications to build the company's satellite constellation. The five Iridium Next satellites will join 50 other satellites already in orbit from five previous SpaceX launches (of which 10 satellites each were launched). When completed, the Iridium Next constellation will comprise 75 satellites – 66 operational satellites and nine spare parts.

  NASA's dual GRACE Follow-on spacecraft (above) and five communications satellites from Iridium Next are stacked like a cake before being launched on May 22, 2018 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force, California Base be brought. NASA's twin GRACE follow-on spacecraft (above) and five Iridium Next communication satellites are stacked like a cake before being launched on May 22, 2018 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force, California Base be brought. </p>
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GRACE-FO, a joint project between NASA and the German Research Center for Geosciences GFZ, will use small-scale twin satellites to map changes in the water and ice of the Earth, such as the rise of the sea, and plains Melting the polar ice caps. Unlike most Earth observation satellites, GRACE-FO will not use "Imager [to] to collect light reflected from the surface or the atmosphere," said David Jarrett, program director of GRACE-FO, at a press conference on Monday (May 21 ). , Rather, "the instrument is really the two satellites together as a system" to detect changes in gravity, he said.

The two identical spacecraft will fly in unison, with one of the others at a distance of 137 miles (220 kilometers). Driving over part of the earth where the strength of the gravitational field either increases or decreases will affect the distance between the two spacecraft. So, to get information on the distribution of the Earth below, the GRACE-FO satellites do not have to look down; instead, they "look" at each other and measure their separation by constantly sending microwave signals back and forth.

"When the mass changes on the ground – like in aquifers or melting glaciers or in the oceans and so on – you immediately see it in a change that we very, very accurately through a microwave tracking system with Measuring about one-tenth of a human hair over the distance between Los Angeles and San Diego Frank Flechtner, project manager of GRACE-FO at the GFZ in Potsdam, said at the press conference:

GRACE-FO will mapping Earth's gravity over the next five years to investigate the effects of climate change globally.

Visit Space.com today to see Falcon 9's SpaceX launch for NASA's GRACE-FO and Iridium satellite constellations

Send Hanneke Wegering to hweitering@space.com or follow her @hannekescience Follow us @Spacedotcom Facebook [19659021] and Google+ . Original article on Space.com .


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