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The NASA/German Research Centre for Geosciences Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-on (GRACE-FO) mission launched onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, Tuesday, May 22, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

A photo showing the twin GRACE-FO spacecraft installed on top of the five Iridium NEXT communications satellites is seen as experts discuss the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On mission during a pre-launch media briefing, Monday in California.

GRACE-FO is sharing its ride to orbit with five Iridium NEXT communications satellites as part of a commercial rideshare agreement.

The twin GRACE-FO spacecraft will measure changes in how mass is redistributed within and among Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, land and ice sheets, as well as within Earth itself. The mission will measure changes in how mass is redistributed within and among Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, land and ice sheets, as well as within Earth itself.

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