The Gravity Probe B Mission
What is the Gravity Probe B experiment? What are the mission goals and objectives, and what measurements are being made? Why is it important to perform another test of Einstein's general theory of relativity? What is the significance of this experiment?
Go to Mission Overview.
History & Management
Who came up with the idea of using gyros in space to test Einstein's theory? How and where was the GP-B technology developed? How was such a complex program managed? Why did it take over 40 years to carry out this conceptually simple experiment?
Go to History & Management.
Launch and Checkout
What was involved in preparing for launch? When did the spacecraft launch, and how did it go? What had to be accomplished during the Initialization and Orbit Checkout (IOC) phase? Why did this phase last twice as long as originally anticipated?
Go to Launch & Checkout.
How well-prepared was the GP-B Mission Operations team? What was a typical day like in the Mission Operations Center (MOC)? Were there any problems with the spacecraft in orbit, and if so, how were they handled? Why were instrument calibrations performed? When did the mission end?
Go to Mission Operations.
Data Processing & Analysis
How was GP-B data collected and transferred from the spacecraft to the Mission Operations Center at Stanford? How often did the team communicate with the spacecraft? How were data errors and computer problems handled? What is the general process for analyzing the data?
Go to Data.
The Legacy of GP-B
Was the mission successful? What were the most significant achievements? What awards or honors have been bestowed on GP-B? Can any of the technology or lessons learned in the GP-B mission be used by other NASA missions? Beyond the scientific results, what is the broader legacy of GP-B?
Go to Legacy.