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THE GRAVITY RECOVERY AND INTERIOR LABORATORY (GRAIL)

18 Dec 2011, 20:28 UTC
THE GRAVITY RECOVERY AND INTERIOR LABORATORY (GRAIL)
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http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/grail/home.cfmI was asked if GRAIL launched and I must admit I had not followed in detail.What I found and let me know if things change.- LRK -http://moon.mit.edu/Says will but doesn't look current.Says launched 10 September but will take some time getting to the Moon.-------------------------------------------------http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity_Recovery_and_Interior_LaboratoryThe Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) is an American lunar science mission in NASA's Discovery Program, which will use high-quality gravitational field mapping of the Moon to determine its interior structure. The two small spacecraft GRAIL A and GRAIL B were launched on 10 September 2011 aboard a single launch vehicle: the most-powerful configuration of a Delta II, the 7920H-10.[1][3][4] GRAIL A separated from the rocket about nine minutes after launch, GRAIL B followed about eight minutes later. They will arrive at their orbits around the Moon 24 hours apart.[5]The science phase of the mission will last for 90 days. Following the science phase (or extended mission phase), a five-day decommissioning period is planned, after which the spacecraft will impact the lunar surface in about 40 days.[6] The gravity mapping technique is similar to that used by Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), and the spacecraft design is based on XSS-11.[7]Unlike the Apollo program missions, which ...

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