Microwave Ranging Instruments on GRACE-FO Satellites Contain SSL-Built Components

Maxar Technologies SSL subsidiary built and provided the transceiver assembly components for a pair of Microwave Ranging Instruments that took off in May as part of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On mission of NASA and the German Research Center for Geosciences.

Al Tadros, vice president of SSL’s space infrastructure and civil space, wrote in a blog post published Tuesday that the two Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Microwave Ranging Instruments with SSL-made components aboard two GRACE-FO satellites will measure the changes in distance between the two spacecraft in order to track water migration and other water storage anomalies on Earth.

The two GRACE-FO satellites and five Iridium NEXT satellites from Iridium Communications launched aboard a SpaceX rocket as part of a rideshare agreement.

The GRACE-FO satellites will join the first two GRACE spacecraft that lifted off in 2002.

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