NASA’s PACE spacecraft has been successfully delivered to the Astrotech Spacecraft Operations facility near the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where it will undergo final preparation before launch. Engineers and technicians arrived ahead of schedule to prepare ground equipment for offloading and processing before fueling and encapsulation.
The PACE mission, which stands for Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, and ocean Ecosystem, is set 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 aims 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.
The PACE project is managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The agency’s Launch Services Program, based at Kennedy Space Center, is responsible for managing launch service for the PACE mission. The spacecraft has undergone rigorous testing and validation during its journey from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland to its current location in Florida.