30 April 2014 | Immenstaad: Scientists and engineers from Germany, USA, Russia, and the Ukraine are preparing the GRACE-FO satellite launch and met to this end from 28 to 30 April 2014 in Immenstaad. The satellite specialists were planning in a friendly and cooperative atmosphere the next steps for the GRACE-FO satellite mission.
The twin satellites of the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) follow-on (FO) mission shall be launched into orbit with the DNEPR, a converted Russian intercontinental ballistic missile of SS18 type, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in August 2017. A respective contract had been signed between the Executive Board of the GFZ and the Russian International Space Company Kosmotras (ISCK) in December last year. The Ukrainian Yuzhnoye State Design Office (YSDO ) was sub-contracted by ISCK to build the Multi Satellite Dispenser (MSD), which carries the two satellites in the 3rd stage and injects them into the final orbit.
The execution of the works is planned and coordinated by the GFZ subcontractor SpaceTech GmbH (STI) in very close cooperation with the GFZ partner NASA and the satellite manufacturer Airbus. At the conclusion of the meeting, the technical progress of the work was assessed by all parties as very successful. All project partners also reaffirmed their desire for a fast and peaceful solution to the political situation in the sense of the people of Ukraine.
Further information on the GRACE mission may be found here.