NASA Moon Probes Enter Lunar Orbit for New Year's Eve/Day
January 2, 2012 1:10 PM
Grail-A and Grail-B
The probes will search the moon "from crust to core" in an effort to understand the moon's origins
Two NASA probes sent to orbit the moon last year have finally entered lunar orbit on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
The twin probes, named Grail-A and Grail-B (Grail stands for Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory), are part of a $496 million mission that launched September 10, 2011. They are two washing machine-sized probes that were sent to orbit the moon in an effort to
better understand the moon's origins
At this point, it is believed that the moon came to be after a Mars-sized object hit the Earth 4.5 billion years ago and the blast sent large materials out into space that eventually came together to create the moon.
There are many aspects of the moon that remain unknown, however. One question that NASA hopes to uncover is how the moon has evolved since that crash millions of years ago. Also, researchers have wondered why the near side of the moon, which is the side we see from Earth, is so different looking from the far side of the moon. The far side is much more mountainous while the near side consists of plains of volcanic rock.
"We don't actually know why the near side and far side of the moon are different," said Maria Zuber, head Grail investigator from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "We think that the answer is locked in the interior."
Grail-A and Grail-B were set out to answer such questions, and after launching back in September, the two have finally
entered lunar orbit
to begin searching for clues. Grail-A entered orbit December 31, 2011 while Grail-B made its way to the moon January 1, 2012.
Now, the probes will spend two months orbiting the moon while gradually moving closer to the moon's surface. They'll eventually orbit 34 miles above the surface, and then begin an 82-day journey to find clues about the moon's past. They will search the moon "from crust to core" while remaining 75 to 225 miles apart depending on the differences in the lunar gravity field.
When the probes return their findings back to NASA, researchers will use the information to
create descriptive maps of the moon's
gravitational field, which will provide a better understanding of the moon's formation.
"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
Lunar Mining Sparks Race to the Moon
January 18, 2011, 2:07 PM
NASA Creates Unprecedented Map of the Moon
December 20, 2010, 3:27 PM
Researchers Discover Source of Moon's Magnetism
January 16, 2009, 11:46 AM
PIQ ROBOTTM reveals its new artificial intelligence software
November 29, 2016, 12:59 AM
One more time - Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone Around the World
November 24, 2016, 4:00 AM
Google’s Smart Contact Lens Project gets halted for 2016
November 20, 2016, 7:00 AM
Cell Research Study shows African Americans have greater immune response to infection
November 10, 2016, 1:00 AM
UTHealth Clinical Trial Shows Progress Using Stem Cells to Treat Traumatic Brain Injury
November 8, 2016, 1:00 AM
Uber Partners with Circulation to Pilot Program Connecting Transportation and Digital Health Care
November 6, 2016, 5:00 AM
Most Popular Articles
Surface Pro 5 Rumors - New Release Date and Price
April 22, 2017, 6:45 AM
ASUS RT-AC5300 – Ultimate Game & 4K Streaming
April 18, 2017, 7:45 AM
Dell Inspiron 17 7000 – A Premium Laptop featuring 7th Gen Intel Core i7 in a 2-in-1 Frame.
April 19, 2017, 7:45 AM
Meet the Smartphone with four cameras - Alcatel Flashphone
April 5, 2017, 11:20 AM
Vivo V5 Plus – the Selfie Softlight is on You.
April 17, 2017, 7:05 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus – Lots of Glass that Breaks Easily
Apr 25, 2017, 7:20 AM
Samsung Galaxy S8 – Warning for Pet Owners
Apr 24, 2017, 5:59 AM
Sound Bars and the Costs?
Apr 23, 2017, 6:30 AM
Link your Brain to Your Computer – In Four Years…Maybe
Apr 22, 2017, 7:03 AM
Google Home can now identify users by their voice.
Apr 21, 2017, 7:15 AM
Amazon Lex – Now Available for Developers.
Apr 20, 2017, 6:58 AM
You can now use Instagram offline on your Android Smartphone
Apr 19, 2017, 8:00 AM
Now you can livestream to YouTube from your mobile device.
Apr 18, 2017, 8:05 AM
Google Home – Is It a Spy Device?
Apr 17, 2017, 7:30 AM
Apple added to self –driving test permit list
Apr 15, 2017, 6:21 AM
Project Scorpio – Coming on June 11
Apr 14, 2017, 6:20 AM
Looks Like Samsung Has Been Forgiven.
Apr 13, 2017, 6:50 AM
United Airlines - Blasted on China’s Social Network and the Stock Market
Apr 12, 2017, 6:50 AM
Amazon's Third-Party Sellers Hacked
Apr 11, 2017, 6:25 AM
Microsoft Surface Pro5 Details Revealed
Apr 9, 2017, 6:41 AM
Own An Android Phone? Then you could be hacked over Wi-FI
Apr 7, 2017, 6:47 AM
Apple confirms iOS 10.3 bug and its effect on iCloud Services
Apr 6, 2017, 6:30 AM
Apple Rolls Out New Version of Apple Music
Apr 5, 2017, 10:35 AM
Apple in the News
Apr 4, 2017, 9:03 AM
Apple iPhones Will Soon Feature Graphics Chips Designed BY Apple
Apr 3, 2017, 6:23 AM
AMD Ryzen Desktop Processors Performance
Apr 2, 2017, 6:30 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2017 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information