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NASA's GRAIL Launch Month Away!

Question asked by Farjand in #Coffee Room on Aug 12, 2011
Farjand
Farjand · Aug 12, 2011
Rank C2 - EXPERT
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Moon which is the nearest and the only satellite of earth is up for another discovery. When we look towards the moon, what we see is the single side, while we have never seen the other side. The human knowledge of moon although has increased considerably since his first space mission; still there is a good deal of information which has remained untapped. One of the important projects of NASA called GRAIL to inspect the physical conditions of moon. NASA is just a month away from its launch.

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GRAIL Mission is aimed for a September launch and will provide a deep insight into the internal structure of Moon. Image Credit: NASA

The project is aimed at knowing the physical composition of the satellite and the heat cycle it has gone through since its birth. GRAIL will shed some light on the evolution of the moon. NASA plans to launch the Lunar probes christened GRAIL A and GRAIL B and they have recently completed their initial tests when they were weighed one final time  Astrotech Space Operations facility in Titusville, Fla., this Tuesday. Grail launch period extends from September 8, 8:37 a.m. EDT to October 18, 9:16 a.m. EDT.

As a part of the procedure which will be followed during its launch, the two probes will be loaded in an adapter next week. They will be packaged inside a payload fairing to protect them till they will be finally fired. The final launch will take place at Complex 17 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station when it will be combined with its carrier rocket called United Launch Alliance Delta II Heavy rocket. The project is headed by the lead investigator Maria Zuber of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The function of the lunar probes GRAIL A and GRAIL B will be to monitor moon and gather data regarding its gravitational field with accurate detail. The data obtained with this mission is expected to solve some queries pertaining to the rocky satellite's origin. The project will increase the present info of the "seen" side of the moon by 100 times and that of the "Unseen" side by another 1000 times.

GRAIL will commence its work in 2012. This is the first of its mission when the American space agency is sending an artificial probe to be maneuvered in a precise orbit on the satellite and also the images sent by GRAIL will be used for educational purposes by the middle school children.

</div> Posted in: #Coffee Room

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