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  1. #1
    Sagan's Avatar Carl Sagan
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    NASA ready for GRAIL spacecraft to crash into moon

    Source: Los Angeles Times

    http://www.latimes.com/news/science/...,1124143.story

    NASA ready for GRAIL spacecraft to crash into moon

    By Eryn Brown
    December 13, 2012, 12:53 p.m.

    In a series of planned maneuvers, NASA's twin GRAIL spacecraft, nicknamed Ebb and Flow, will crash into a crater rim near the moon's North Pole about 2:28 p.m. Pacific time on Monday.

    At a news conference on Thursday, scientists involved with the project, which is operated out of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada-Flintridge, spoke about their work's end.

    "The mission is almost over, it’s kind of sad to me," said David Lehman, GRAIL project manager.

    On Friday morning, he said, engineers at JPL would fire the engines to point the twin crafts, which are about the size of the washer-dryers you'd find in an apartment, toward their mountain target. Following that maneuver, they will turn off the spacecrafts' science instruments.

    -snip-

    Read more: http://www.latimes.com/news/science/...,1124143.story
    http://youtu.be/zSgiXGELjbc

    "A still more glorious dawn awaits
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    The rising of the milky way"

    "The sky calls to us
    If we do not destroy ourselves
    We will one day venture to the stars" -Carl Sagan

  2. #2
    Denise's Avatar
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    I didn't quite get the point, though. Why crash it into the moon? Isn't that a bit of a waste?

  3. #3
    Monotony's Avatar Undisputed Supreme Ruler of the Universe
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    If their firing it onto the moon might as well send a damn rover.

  4. #4
    Ironman's Avatar
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    That's wasted taxpayer money!

  5. #5
    Sagan's Avatar Carl Sagan
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    Well with it's scientific mission complete and it's purpose fulfilled, who cares what happens to them. Their mission was to map the moons surface gravity and they have completed that objective.

    Having the high-resolution gravity map helps scientists learn more about lunar composition and, by extension, the makeup and history of other rocky planets and planetary bodies in the solar system, the researchers said. To cite just one example, Zuber noted that the team had learned that the lunar crust is far thinner than scientists had believed, which means the lunar mantle (the layer below the crust) has possibly been exposed by crater impacts. Studying exposed lunar mantle should help planetary scientists understand the Earth's mantle, she said.
    Further information about GRAIL findings is available at the mission website, which is maintained by NASA.
    http://youtu.be/zSgiXGELjbc

    "A still more glorious dawn awaits
    Not a sunrise, but a galaxy rise
    A morning filled with 400 billion suns
    The rising of the milky way"

    "The sky calls to us
    If we do not destroy ourselves
    We will one day venture to the stars" -Carl Sagan

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