The PACE spacecraft, a collaborative effort between NASA and SpaceX, was successfully attached to its payload adapter in Florida, marking a significant milestone ahead of its upcoming launch to study Earth’s oceans, atmosphere, and climate.
NASA and SpaceX technicians connected NASA’s PACE (Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem) spacecraft to the payload adapter on Wednesday, January 24, 2024,at the Astrotech Space Operations Facility near the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Now that PACE is securely attached to the payload adapter, teams will encapsulate the spacecraft inside the protective payload fairings ahead of integration with the Falcon 9 rocket.
The PACE mission will increase our understanding of Earth’s oceans, atmosphere, and climate by delivering hyperspectral observations of microscopic marine organisms called phytoplankton, as well as new measurements of clouds and aerosols.
PACE is set to launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida at 1:33 a.m. EST on Tuesday, February 6.
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 the launch service for the PACE mission.