Monday, September 05, 2011

NASA To Launch Twin GRAIL Spacecraft to Measure Moon’s Gravity

The moon has fascinated mankind for centuries and has been studied by humans for hundreds of years, but Earth's natural satellite is still shrouded in many mysteries.

To shed some more light on the moon and its history, NASA is set to launch twin spacecraft to map the moon's gravity in exceptional detail.

By creating the most precise lunar gravity map ever, scientists hope to understand better how the moon formed, its evolutionary history and what's beneath the lunar surface all the way from crust to core. The orbiting probes also will help pinpoint the best landing sites for future explorers, whether human or mechanical, reports Associated Press.

The twin GRAIL (Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory) probes are set to depart from Space Launch Complex 17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Thursday aboard an unmanned Delta II Heavy rocket built by United Launch Alliance.

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