overviewmission objectivesscience teammission designthe spacecraft and payloadoperationseducation
Mission Operations & Data Processing

Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) will manage GRAIL’s mission operations from its Pasadena facility and provide navigation and mission support using heritage operations systems (Multi-mission Ground System Services and the Deep Space Network). GRAIL’s indstrial partner, Lockheed Martin Space Systems (LM), will conduct spacecraft flight operations from the Denver facility that also supports Mars Odyssey, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and the Phoenix mission.

JPL and LM have a longstanding and successful partnership of over 15 years that has been proven over many planetary missions. Both are well-versed in the use of existing ground system infrastructure for ssemble Test and Launch Operations (ATLO) and flight operations.

Science Level 0 and 1 data processing will be done at JPL with 90% reuse of software from the GRACE mission; Level-2 processing will be done at JPL, the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); advanced products and scientific interpretation will be performed by the science team institutions. The final delivery of science data products to Planetary Data System is performed by MIT.

Project Management
The GRAIL team is staffed with experienced management and scientific personnel with specific experience in Earth and planetary gravity mapping investigations. The Project Scientist, Mission System Manager, and Instrument Manager on GRAIL had the same roles on GRACE.