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GRAIL

  1. Space

    New Map of Moon Gravity Most Accurate Ever, Looks Tie-Dyed

    A pair of twin spacecraft from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission have completed a new map showing the Moon's gravity in unprecedented details. The new map is now the most detailed map of the gravity of any celestial body. The new data could help scientists understand how the Earth and other planets form. If we're lucky, it could also lead to revolutionary new moon bounces at parties, or at least safer moon bounces. Okay, maybe not, but it's still neat.

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  2. Space

    NASA’s GRAIL Provides Its First Video of Far Side of the Moon

    NASA's GRAIL (Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory), which we've been following, has provided its first video of the far side of the moon. You know, the part we can't normally see and Hollywood blockbusters like to sling spaceships around when they need a boost. This isn't the first video of that side of the moon, but GRAIL's first, so keep in mind you're not witnessing impressive history, but you're witnessing something pretty cool in its own right regardless. The video, taken with the GRAIL's MoonKAM, shows the North Pole to the South Pole, and shows us that all of the secret alien bases hidden on the other side of the moon aren't there, or at the very least, packed up and went below the moon's surface until the MoonKAM stopped trying to record them.

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  3. Space

    First GRAIL Probe Enters Lunar Orbit, Twin Probe Arrives Today

    At 3 PM EST, the first of the two Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) probes completed its main engine burn and entered orbit 56 miles over the surface of our moon. The first probe, creatively named GRAIL-A, will not have long to wait for its twin GRAIL-B, which will enter orbit today around 3 PM EST. Once the two probes are in place over the moon, scientists will have a unique science platform which will provide them with a better understanding of the moon's composition.

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  4. Space

    NASA Launches GRAIL Spacecraft to Study Moon’s Interior, Let Middle-Schoolers See Cool Pictures

    Earlier this morning, NASA launched the spacecraft that will be under taking the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, which aims to shine some light on the moon's internal structure, history and evolution. The two spacecraft, GRAIL-A and GRAIL-B, launched together this morning, strapped to a Delta II rocket and are slated to reach the moon on New Years Eve 2011 and New Years Day 2012 respectively. One there, they'll fly around the moon in formation, measuring changes in gravity and using the data to infer all kinds of things about the Moon's core and history. In addition to all that gravity stuff, the GRAIL spacecraft are also equipped with cameras devoted to the MoonKAM project (a pained acronym for Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students) that will let middle school classrooms request picture of specific parts of the moon. In addition to acquiring moon knowledge, these lucky kids will get to experience the concentrated joy of interacting with and having an effect on an actual spacecraft that is in space. I'm pretty jealous. (via NASA, GRAIL MoonKAM)

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