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NASA to Crash GRAIL Probes Into the Moon

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NASA to Crash GRAIL Probes Into the Moon
[ Science]

NASA this week detailed its plans to crash two lunar-orbiting probes into the moon next week. On Monday, December 17 at 5:28 p.m., the probes, named Ebb and Flow, are part the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) project. They will descend and impact a lunar mountain near the moon’s north pole.

The crash-landing is purposeful, as the probes’ low orbit and low fuel levels make it impossible for them to be of any further use for scientific studies. The probes have successfully completed their primary and extended science missions.

Just last week, NASA revealed a gravity map of the moon that was based on GRAIL data taken by the probes. The map is the highest-resolution gravity field map of any celestial body to date, and will provide researchers with a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets formed.

“It is going to be difficult to say goodbye,” said Maria Zuber, GRAIL principal investigator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Our little robotic twins have been exemplary members of the GRAIL family, and planetary science has advanced in a major way because of their contributions.”

Ebb will be the fist probe to hit the moon’s surface, with Flow following 20 seconds later. The spacecrafts will be travelling at 1.7 kilometers per second (3,760 miles per hour) when they hit the surface. The area of the moon where the probes are expected to impact will be in shadow at the time of impact, so no images of the event are expected.

Before their final flight, the probes will both empty their propellant tanks by firing their main engines. This will show exactly how much fuel each probe has remaining, helping NASA engineers improve computer models that predict fuel consumption for future missions. After the burn, the probes will skim the surface of the moon for several hours until the lunar mountain rises in front of them.

“Our lunar twins may be in the twilight of their operational lives, but one thing is for sure, they are going down swinging,” said David Lehman, GRAIL project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “Even during the last half of their last orbit, we are going to do an engineering experiment that could help future missions operate more efficiently.

“Such a unique end-of-mission scenario requires extensive and detailed mission planning and navigation. We’ve had our share of challenges during this mission and always come through in flying colors, but nobody I know around here has ever flown into a moon mountain before. It’ll be a first for us, that’s for sure.”

NASA to Crash GRAIL Probes Into the Moon
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  • joseph

    ok nice one, i know whats going on already save the booshwah, first of all its 2012 right, so the 21st is friday which means theres something going on out there and you guys are sending probes on the moon 4 days early before the 21, to find what….? more alien territories, another mona lisa alien, or to check out the moons polar shift as well as the earth polar shift on the 21, theres allot of earthquake activity in cali, china, chile’ canada, alaska, syria, mexico and so forth, just last friday cali had a mini tsunami of a 6.4 and the news calls them “king tides” bs i dont believe anything the chief of nasa gotta say as far as our well being on this planet, just like he denied the fact that the first man on the moon never saw an alien and tried to keep it from leaking my friends hacks government and top secret evidents regularly so we know whats been going on from day one from the new world order, fiscal cliff debt, the banks and their scams to withdrawl american citizenz money from thier bank acc, alluminati,ect they try so hard to keep americans calm from them knowing whats happening but its only a matter of time were people are smart enough to know that the government and nasa are a bunch of phonies and fakes, knew about this all along, so stop with the b.s you guys make me laugh, with your underground hidden bunkers in alaska taking are hard earned dollars to build stuff to save themselves. they dont care about americans, they only want to control our minds

  • joseph

    ok nice one, i know whats going on already save the booshwah, first of all its 2012 right, so the 21st is friday which means theres something going on out there and you guys are sending probes on the moon 4 days early before the 21, to find what….? more alien territories, another mona lisa alien, or to check out the moons polar shift as well as the earth polar shift on the 21, theres allot of earthquake activity in cali, china, chile’ canada, alaska, syria, mexico and so forth, just last friday cali had a mini tsunami of a 6.4 and the news calls them “king tides” bs i dont believe anything the chief of nasa gotta say as far as our well being on this planet, just like he denied the fact that the first man on the moon never saw an alien and tried to keep it from leaking my friends hacks government and top secret evidents regularly so we know whats been going on from day one from the new world order, fiscal cliff debt, the banks and their scams to withdrawl american citizenz money from thier bank acc, alluminati,ect they try so hard to keep americans calm from them knowing whats happening but its only a matter of time were people are smart enough to know that the government and nasa are a bunch of phonies and fakes, i knew about this all along, so stop with the b.s you guys make me laugh, with your underground hidden bunkers in alaska taking are hard earned dollars to build stuff to save themselves. they dont care about americans, they only want to control our minds

    • Jack in AJ

      @Joseph…Alluminatti? Ect? Brilliant.

  • Bob

    Your dumbass Joseph

  • Terry Jones

    Bob: Joseph is past dumbass. How about nutso freaky? Joseph: Can we say paranoid? Now be a nice little man, go back on your medication and SHUT THE HELL UP!

    • The Brain

      You know what? Denice45, Joseph is asking asking a question, you are the dumb ass! Did’nt man query wether or not they could go to the moon? Wasn’t there nae-sayers who stated that this was crazy? Science is all about questions you NINCOMPOOP!

      • The Brain

        BOB the turd

        • denice45

          @the bird brain asshole…it was simple question…thanks for screwing my question up, for ur humor…you mummered lip prick!

  • denice45

    @Joseph…I believe you are right…all sighns show exactly what you are talking about…I was viewing the images of the impact on the moon…from what I can tell those droids will leave a deep crater…now this may be a dumb question…but does the moon turn on an axil also?…wouldn’t that make the moon unstable?…and since its so close to earth…those no perventing sudden impact…someone correct me if I’m wrong…I don’t know the answer…what actually will happen if this happens?

    Another question…can we as americans stop the gov/nasa from doing this?

  • Mr Smith

    Wow! Conspiracies all around us! Now were calling those things “droids”? Someone’s been watching just a bit too much Star Wars.

    I’d guess just by looking at the surface, there has been way way way larger objects hit at way way way higher speeds and they have yet to hurl the moon into the earth or anywhere else.

    Building armageddon bunkers? Let em. Who wants to be around if something happens that requires those bunkers exclusively to stay alive. Maybe some, but not me. If we “buy it” for some unknown reason, then it just must be meant to happen. If the tragedy doesn’t kill you, then the rest of the “living dead” will be looking to kill anyone with so much as a bottle of water. There won’t be any organized return to civilization. That will take 1000 years. The first few hundred will be a living hell as I see it.

    Who in there right mind thinks 12/22 is real? Please introduce yourself to me. I’ll take good care of your money and possessions. Just send em.

    Just the forum needed for a few wacko’s to sound off.

  • Mr Smith

    Also hate to inform you that you appeared to misused “booshwah”
    The closest I can determine is you intended “Boojwah” based on how you used it.

    If you did intend “Booshwah”. Then you simply defined yourself.

    Are you sitting somewhere in an alley hacking free wifi from someone? I Picture a 55 gal can on fire and a bottle of “Thunderbird” wine somewhere near.

  • http://Webpronews Colin Cullen new zealand

    I think Joseph is wright new Zealand ha earthquax az wel I think some of that NASA stuff works moon orbit an all who knows

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