The launch of two spacecraft that make up the Gravity
Recovery and Climate Experiment, or “Grace,” mission aboard a
Russian launch vehicle is scheduled for Saturday, March 16,
from Russia’s Plesetsk Cosmodrome. The 10-minute launch
window extends from 4:23 a.m. to 4:33 a.m. EST.

Grace is a joint NASA/German Center for Air and Space Flight
(Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft und Rumfahrt, or DLR) mission
that will track how water is transported and stored within
Earth’s environment. The mission will precisely measure
Earth’s shifting water masses and map their effects on
Earth’s gravity field.

NASA Television coverage of the launch will begin at 3 a.m.
EST and conclude at 6:30 a.m. EST. Coverage is expected to be
audio only from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. EST, during rocket ascent.
Live televised coverage will resume from Germany at 6 a.m.
EST and run until 6:30 a.m. EST to confirm successful
spacecraft separation.

NASA TV is carried on GE-2, transponder 9C located at 85
degrees West longitude, with vertical polarization. Frequency
is on 3880.0 megahertz with audio on 6.8 megahertz.

The Grace mission is managed by the NASA Jet Propulsion
Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif. A webcast of the launch
will be available on the Internet through JPL at:

Webcasting also will be available from the German Space
Program (DLR) site at: