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PACE weekly commissioning update

Posted on Friday, February 23, 2024 at 12:00:00

Launch through 21 February 2024


Spacecraft commissioning activities continued this week, with expected completion around the time of this writing (early morning 22 Feb 2024). All systems continue to be GO. The instrument commissioning phase of in-orbit checkout begins later today! So, stay tuned for next week's communication, which will provide the first update on instruments' health and preliminary performances. On a side note, it's been wonderful to experience community excitement and enthusiasm for our mission at the AGU Ocean Sciences Meeting this week. We cannot wait to see the discoveries you make with the forthcoming data streams.


The PACE Project has planned 60 days of in-orbit checkout. Science data will start flowing publicly no later than the end of this commissioning period.

Accomplishments this week:
  • Science calibration (lunar, solar) dry run slews
  • Altitude adjustment burn
  • Tilt system tests
  • Inertial Reference Unit (IRU) calibration slews
  • Ka band downlink adjustments
Notable events planned for the next week:
  • The beginning of instrument commissioning

Of course, we're all super excited to have the instrument begin collecting data in the coming week(s)! Our hope is to have science first light released roughly one month from now.

Other information

This update is being sent to a series of mailing lists, while also being posted online:


In early March (TBD), we'll only send this update to a single email list. If you'd like to continue to receive email updates, become a member of our Community of Practice. Sign up here:


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spacecraft separates from Falcon 9 PACE spacecraft separates from the Falcon 9 rocket's second stage, beginning its science mission from sun-synchronous orbit about 420 miles above the Earth's surface. Credit: SpaceX
The second stage carrying the PACE spacecraft continues on its journey to sun-synchronous orbit. The second stage carrying the PACE spacecraft continues on its journey to sun-synchronous orbit after main engine cutoff. Credit: SpaceX