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GRACE, twin satellites launched in March 2002, are making detailed measurements of Earth's gravity field which will lead to discoveries about gravity and Earth's natural systems. These discoveries could have far-reaching benefits to society and the world's population.

Orbiting twins - The GRACE satellites
Orbiting Twins - The GRACE satellites

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GRACE in the News

From 310 Miles Above the Earth, Satellites Weigh Groundwater Lost to Irrigation

Picture a shimmering cube of water three miles high. In the past decade, that much water—nearly the volume of Nevada’s Lake Tahoe—was lost from aquifers under the American High Plains.

That figure doesn’t come from measurements of the water level in wells. Rather, it’s drawn from orbit, in a new study that uses data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) spacecraft. GRACE has been weighing groundwater from on high since the late 1990s. But previous GRACE models have overlooked ways in which humans impact aquifers, says study lead author Jose Agustin Brena-Narañjo. “Which, in this case, is irrigation.”

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The GRACE mission is jointly implemented by NASA and DLR under
the NASA Earth System Science Pathfinder Program.

Last Modified: Tue Nov 11, 2014