IN THE NEWS Archive

  • 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 ...
  • GRACE-FO Successfully Launched; UPDATES May 22, 2018 On May 22, 2018, NASA’s GRACE Follow-On mission was successfully launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. At 11 minutes 47 seconds after liftoff, the two GRACE Follow-On satellites separated from the rocket, shortly after which ground controllers acquired signals from both.
  • Prolific Earth Gravity Satellites End Science Mission October 27, 2017 After more than 15 productive years in orbit, the U.S./German GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite mission has ended science operations. During their mission, the twin GRACE satellites have provided unprecedented insights into how our planet is changing by tracking the continuous movement of liquid water, ice and the solid Earth. GRACE made science measurements ...