Geodesy and Geophysics Laboratory (61A) Press Releases & Feature Stories Archive

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New International Ocean Satellite Completes Testing

06.15.2020
The Sentinel 6/Freilich ocean radar altimeter satellite is undergoing system and environment testing at a test facility near Munich, Germany in preparation for launch later this year. Once in orbit, each satellite will collect sea level measurements down to the centimeter for 90% of the world's oceans from the TOPEX reference orbit.

NCCS-Enabled Gravity Models Reveal Density of Moon’s Crust

04.17.2020
NASA Goddard and university scientists built high-resolution models of the Moon’s gravity field using NCCS supercomputers and data from GRAIL and LRO, revealing detailed structure of the lunar crust.
Paper by Goossens et al. (2020) in J. Geophys. Res.-Planets that presents these results.

#EarthDayAtHome with NASA

04.16.2020
Fifty years ago, on April 22, 1970, people around the world marked the first Earth Day. Thousands gathered to raise awareness about the importance of protecting our beautiful planet for future generations.

NASA Marks Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary with #EarthDayAtHome

04.10.2020
As the world observes the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22, NASA is highlighting the agency’s many contributions to sustaining and improving our home planet’s environment...

New NASA Podcast Helps Listeners Explore Our ‘Curious Universe’

04.06.2020
NASA’s newest podcast is taking listeners on an adventure to explore the wonders of Earth and help unravel the mysteries of the universe.

Greenland, Antarctica Melting Six Times Faster Than in the 1990s

04.03.2020
An international scientific team has shown that Greenland and Antarctica are losing ice six times faster than they were in the 1990s.
Link to March 2020 Nature Article by IMBIE Team (Shepherd et al., 2020).

NASA Science Keeps the Lights On

04.02.2020
Across NASA’s many missions, thousands of scientists, engineers, and other experts and professionals all over the country are doing what they do best, but now from home offices and via video conferencing. With most personnel supporting missions remotely to keep onsite staff at a minimal level in response to COVID-19, the Agency is moving ahead strongly with everything from space exploration to using our technology and innovation to help inform policy makers.

Statement on NASA Goddard’s Coronavirus Prep Actions

03.13.2020
Goddard has canceled all non-mission-essential visits to its facilities. Goddard also is closing its Visitor Centers at Greenbelt and at Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.

OSIRIS-REx Swoops Over Sample Site Nightingale

03.10.2020
On March 3, 2020, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft flew over the sample site Nightingale, taking observations from an altitude of 820 feet (250 m).

Status Update: OSIRIS-REx Osprey Flyover

02.13.2020
OSIRIS-REx successfully executed a 0.4-mile (620-m) flyover of site Osprey.

A New Measuring Stick for Forests

01.27.2020
The amount of carbon that is being stored by trees and how it has changed over time is the least understood aspect of the global carbon cycle.

NASA Forest Structure Mission Releases First Data

01.24.2020
The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation mission (GEDI) made their firstdata available to the public in January 2020, providing access to morecomprehensive forest data than ever before.

Sentinel-6/Jason-CS: New Earth Mission Will Track Rising Oceans Into 2030

12.30.2019
The joint NASA/CNES/ESA/NOAA/EUMETSET/ mission, Sentinel-6/Jason-CS mission will continue to collect altimeter data along the TOPEX 9.91 day repeat ground track, and is set for launch in Nov. 2020
To learn more about NASA's study of sea level rise, visit this URL:

Earth's 'paunch' helps sharpen ice-loss estimates

12.19.2019
A recent paper combines data from GRACE and GRACE-FO, and Laser Ranging Measurements of satellites to more accurately capture how the Ear oblateness changes, and improve calculations of ice mass loss.
Link to Paper in Geophysical Research Letters (Loomis et al., 2019)

X Marks the Spot: NASA Selects Site for Asteroid Sample Collection

12.12.2019
After a year scoping out asteroid Bennu’s boulder-scattered surface, the team leading NASA’s first asteroid sample return mission has officially selected a sample collection site.

Greenland's Rapid Melt Will Mean More Flooding

12.10.2019
A new study finds the Greenland Ice Sheet is melting at a rate that matches the worst-case climate models, which project that flooding will affect millions of people by 2100.
Link to Nature paper published on Dec. 10, 2019 that discussed IMBIE study (Shepherd et al., 2019).

OSIRIS-REx Engineers Pull Off a Daring Rescue of a Monumental Asteroid Mission

12.10.2019
On Oct. 11, the OSIRIS-REx team should have been preparing to point their spacecraft cameras precisely over the asteroid Bennu, but an unexpected communications outage on the ground came at a particularly critical time and threatened to throw the mission off track. Engineers quickly hatched a daring plan to keep OSIRIS-REx on schedule.

NASA Highlights Solar Mission, Jupiter Cyclone at AGU Meeting

12.05.2019
NASA researchers will present new findings on a wide range of Earth and space science topics at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), Dec. 9-13 in San Francisco.

NASA Scientist to Discuss “Space Lasers and Satellite Measurements” at Library of Congress Lecture

11.26.2019
The public is invited to a free lecture titled “Space Lasers and Satellite Measurements: Ushering in a New Era of Spaceborne Laser Altimetry Dependent on Satellite Geodesy."

NASA’s Space Geodesy Project Mapping Out a Bright Future

10.02.2019
By investing in smaller, faster radio telescopes, more automation and access to multiple tools, the Next Generation Space Geodesy Project will make maps, charts, flight paths and orbits more precise than ever before.
Link to Journal of Geodesy paper that describes VGOS and SGP (Merkowitz et al., 2019).

OSIRIS-REx’s Final Four Sample Site Candidates in 3D

08.29.2019
High-resolution maps of the four potential sample sites will allow the OSIRIS-REx team to assess the safety and accessibility of each region.

10 Cool Things LRO is Teaching Us About the Moon

06.24.2019
In honor of LRO’s 10th birthday, we reflect on 10 of the many things the intrepid, orbiting explorer has taught us about the Moon.

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Mission Breaks Another Orbit Record

06.13.2019
On June 12, OSIRIS-REx broke its own world record for the closest orbit of a planetary body by a spacecraft.

NASA Invites Public to Help Asteroid Mission Choose Sample Site

05.21.2019
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission to the asteroid Bennu would like extra pairs of eyes to help choose its sample collection site on the asteroid – and to look for anything else that might be scientifically interesting.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Celebrates 60 Years

04.29.2019
On May 1, 1959, the Beltsville Space Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, was renamed NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in honor of Robert H. Goddard, widely considered the father of modern rocketry. Thus began a 60-year boom in science and technological innovation.
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