IN THE NEWS Archive

  • Smithsonian’s Air & Space Magazine features geodesy and UT’s McDonald Geodetic Observatory August 28, 2019 How Satellites and Telescopes are Tracking the Effects of Global Change, Down to the Millimeter By Alexandra Witze Air & Space Magazine September 2019 In the Davis Mountains of far west Texas, at the University of Texas McDonald Observatory, astronomers spend their nights peering at the stars through some of the world’s most powerful telescopes. Soon they’ll be adding ...
  • Celebrating satellites’ contribution to polar science June 7, 2019 Seven areas of fast-flowing ice on the Antarctic Peninsula have been formally named after Earth observation satellites, following a request by a University of Leeds scientist. Dramatic changes in the shape of the Antarctic ice sheet have become emblematic of the climate crisis. Reports of iceberg calving, changes in ice-sheet speed, thickness and mass have informed ...
  • UPDATE – McDonald Geodetic Observatory’s VLBI Antenna Dish Passes NASA’s Site Acceptance Test February 21, 2019 UPDATE: On February 20, 2019, NASA Space Geodesy Project Director Dr. Stephen Merkowitz announced the Agency’s formal “site acceptance” of MGO’s VLBI radio telescope.Extending congratulations to all involved, Dr. Merkowitz stated that, “I really appreciate all of the hard work everyone put in over the past several weeks (particularly during the Government shutdown!) to get ...
  • UPDATE – New Geodetic Observatory Coming to UT Austin’s McDonald Observatory February 11, 2019 UPDATE: On February 7, 2019, the skyline of UT’s McDonald Observatory changed significantly as contractors successfully placed the antenna dish of MGO’s first major instrument — the Very Long Based Interferometer (VLBI) radio telescope — on its pedestal. Installation of additional MGO instruments, such as the Space Geodesy Satellite Laser Ranging (SGSLR) system, will occur ...
  • Moriba Jah First Aerospace Engineer Selected as TED Fellow January 23, 2019 Moriba Jah, an associate professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at UT Austin, made history this year as the first aerospace engineer ever to be selected a TED Fellow. As a TED Fellow, Jah joins a class of 20 carefully selected visionary speakers from across the globe ...
  • CSR alumni on Mars InSight Navigation Team November 20, 2018 Join Texas Exes Gerhard Kruizinga, Sarah Elizabeth McCandless, Mark Wallace, and Allen Halsell (if we missed someone, let us know!) as the world watches live landing coverage of NASA’s Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) two-year mission to to study Mars’ deep interior. And, as if that wasn’t impressive enough, meet Mars ...
  • NASA’s GRACE-FO Mission Creates New Possibilities for Climate Change Research October 22, 2018 Nearly everyone knows the story of Tom and Jerry, with Tom the cat’s never-ending quest to catch Jerry the mouse. “Tom” and “Jerry” also exist in space as two satellites that seem to chase after one another as part of NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission. The mission will allow scientists to ...
  • NASA, ULA Launch Mission to Track Earth’s Changing Ice September 17, 2018 NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) successfully launched from California at 9:02 a.m. EDT Saturday, embarking on its mission to measure the ice of Earth’s frozen reaches with unprecedented accuracy. ICESat-2 lifted off from Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base on United Launch Alliance’s final Delta II rocket. Ground stations in Svalbard, ...
  • New Geodetic Observatory Coming to UT Austin’s McDonald Observatory August 20, 2018 A new scientific facility is under construction on the grounds of The University of Texas at Austin’s McDonald Observatory that will help scientists better understand Earth and could help minimize the effects of geohazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, sea level changes and landslides. Called the McDonald Geodetic Observatory, it is funded by a $4.25 million ...
  • First Laser Light for GRACE Follow-On July 3, 2018 The laser ranging interferometer (LRI) instrument has been successfully switched on aboard the recently launched twin U.S./German Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) satellites. The LRI, which is being flown as a technology demonstration, has made its first measurements in parallel with GRACE-FO’s main microwave ranging instrument, and initial comparisons of the data from ...