NASA’s PACE spacecraft successfully completed its journey from the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, to the Astrotech Spacecraft Operations facility near the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Tuesday, November 14th, 2023.
Upon arrival at the facility, engineers and technicians prepared ground equipment for offloading and processing before fueling and final encapsulation. The spacecraft is scheduled to launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in early 2024 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
The mission of PACE (Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, and ocean Ecosystem) is to clarify how the ocean and atmosphere exchange carbon dioxide, improve upon NASA’s 20-plus years of global satellite observations of ocean biology and atmospheric aerosols, and continue key measurements related to air quality and climate.
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center manages the PACE project while the agency’s Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center is responsible for managing launch service for this mission.