NASA’s Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) observatory spacecraft was successfully delivered to the Astrotech Space Operations facility near the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023. Engineers and technicians had been preparing ground equipment for offloading and processing before fueling and final encapsulation.
The PACE spacecraft 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.
PACE is managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, while the agency’s Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center is responsible for managing launch service for the mission.
Technicians carefully monitor movement as they hoist NASA’s PACE spacecraft after being uncrated on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023. Credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky