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May 22, 2018

SpaceX is launching twin NASA satellites to spy on droughts and melting ice sheets

This afternoon, SpaceX is slated to launch a batch of satellites into space, including two twin satellites for NASA that will observe how water moves around our planet. Called GRACE-FO, the mission replaces the two original GRACE satellites, which were put into orbit in 2002 and went offline last year. Those satellites gave scientists valuable insights into melting ice sheets, droughts, and sea level rise. The new probes will continue that work, helping researchers better understand how water behaves on Earth, especially now that the climate is changing.

“Water resources are vital to life on Earth and the way we operate civilization,” says Frank Webb, GRACE-FO project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “It’s very important...

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