Gravity Probe B is an experiment to measure the geodetic and frame-dragging precessions, relative to the "fixed" stars", of a gyroscope placed in a 650 km altitude polar orbit about the earth. For Einstein's general relativity, the precessions are calculated to be 6.6 arcsec/yr for the geodetic precession and 0.042 arcsec/yr for the frame-dragging precession. The goal of the experiment is to measure these precessions to better than 0.01% and 1%, respectively. This paper gives an overview of the experiment and a discussion of the flight hardware development and its status. This paper also includes an estimate of the geodetic and frame-dragging errors expected for the experiment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aerospace Engineering
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Atmospheric Science
- Space and Planetary Science
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)