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Topic: Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory Spacecraft

NASA Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment spacecraft data reveals Australia had Biggest Role in Sea Level Drop

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A unique and complex set of circumstances came together over Australia from 2010 to 2011 to cause Earth’s smallest continent to be the biggest contributor to the observed drop in global sea level rise during that time, finds a new study co-authored and co-funded by NASA.

In 2011, scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, and the University of Colorado at Boulder reported that between early 2010 and summer 2011, global sea level fell sharply, by about a quarter of an inch, or half a centimeter.

Changes in Australia's mass as reported by data from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites from June 2010 to February 2011. Areas in greens and blues depict the greatest increases in mass, caused by excessive precipitation. The contour lines represent various land surface elevations. (Credit: NCAR/NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Changes in Australia’s mass as reported by data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites from June 2010 to February 2011. Areas in greens and blues depict the greatest increases in mass, caused by excessive precipitation. The contour lines represent various land surface elevations. (Credit: NCAR/NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s GRAIL Twin Spacecraft data shows origin of Surface Gravity on Earth’s Moon

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The origin of massive invisible regions that make the moon’s gravity uneven, a phenomenon that affects the operations of lunar-orbiting spacecraft has been uncovered by NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission.

Because of GRAIL’s findings, future spacecraft on missions to other celestial bodies can navigate with greater precision.

Using a precision formation-flying technique, the twin GRAIL spacecraft mapped the moon's gravity field, as depicted in this artist's rendering. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Using a precision formation-flying technique, the twin GRAIL spacecraft mapped the moon’s gravity field, as depicted in this artist’s rendering. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s GRAIL probes create high resolution gravity field map of the Moon

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Twin NASA probes orbiting Earth’s moon have generated the highest resolution gravity field map of any celestial body.

The new map, created by the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, is allowing scientists to learn about the moon’s internal structure and composition in unprecedented detail. Data from the two washing machine-sized spacecraft also will provide a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed and evolved.

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NASA’s GRAIL Spacecraft fly in Formation around the Moon at 3,600 MPH

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The act of two or more aircraft flying together in a disciplined, synchronized manner is one of the cornerstones of military aviation, as well as just about any organized air show. But as amazing as the U.S. Navy’s elite Blue Angels or the U.S. Air Force’s Thunderbirds are to behold, they remain essentially landlocked, anchored if you will, to our planet and its tenuous atmosphere. What if you could take the level of precision of these great aviators to, say, the moon?

An artist's depiction of the GRAIL twins (Ebb and Flow) in lunar orbit. During GRAIL's prime mission science phase, the two spacecraft will orbit the moon as high as 31 miles (51 kilometers) and as low as 10 miles (16 kilometers). (Image credit: NASA/Caltech-JPL/MIT)

An artist's depiction of the GRAIL twins (Ebb and Flow) in lunar orbit. During GRAIL's prime mission science phase, the two spacecraft will orbit the moon as high as 31 miles (51 kilometers) and as low as 10 miles (16 kilometers). (Image credit: NASA/Caltech-JPL/MIT)

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NASA’s Twin GRAIL Spacecraft Begin Collecting Lunar Data

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft orbiting the moon officially have begun their science collection phase. During the next 84 days, scientists will obtain a high-resolution map of the lunar gravitational field to learn about the moon’s internal structure and composition in unprecedented detail. The data also will provide a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed and evolved.

Using a precision formation-flying technique, the twin GRAIL spacecraft will map the moon's gravity field, as depicted in this artist's rendering. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Using a precision formation-flying technique, the twin GRAIL spacecraft will map the moon's gravity field, as depicted in this artist's rendering. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s GRAIL Mission Returns First Video From Moon’s Far Side

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A camera aboard one of NASA’s twin Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) lunar spacecraft has returned its first unique view of the far side of the moon. MoonKAM, or Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students, will be used by students nationwide to select lunar images for study.

GRAIL consists of two identical spacecraft, recently named Ebb and Flow, each of which is equipped with a MoonKAM. The images were taken as part of a test of Ebb’s MoonKAM on January 19th. The GRAIL project plans to test the MoonKAM aboard Flow at a later date.

South pole of the far side of the moon as seen from the GRAIL mission's Ebb spacecraft. (Image credit: NASA/Caltech-JPL)

South pole of the far side of the moon as seen from the GRAIL mission's Ebb spacecraft. (Image credit: NASA/Caltech-JPL)

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NASA’s Twin Grail Spacecraft Reunite in Lunar Orbit

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The second of NASA’s two Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft has successfully completed its planned main engine burn and is now in lunar orbit. Working together, GRAIL-A and GRAIL-B will study the moon as never before.

“NASA greets the new year with a new mission of exploration,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “The twin GRAIL spacecraft will vastly expand our knowledge of our moon and the evolution of our own planet. We begin this year reminding people around the world that NASA does big, bold things in order to reach for new heights and reveal the unknown.”

Artist concept of GRAIL-B performing its lunar orbit insertion burn. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Artist concept of GRAIL-B performing its lunar orbit insertion burn. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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First of NASA’s GRAIL Spacecraft Enters Moon Orbit

 

Written by DC Agle
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The first of two NASA spacecraft to study the moon in unprecedented detail has entered lunar orbit.

NASA’s Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL)-A spacecraft successfully completed its planned main engine burn at 2:00pm PST (5:00pm EST) today. As of 3:00pm PST (6:00pm EST), GRAIL-A is in an orbit of 56 miles by 5,197 miles (90 kilometers by 8,363 kilometers) around the moon that takes approximately 11.5 hours to complete.

Artist concept of GRAIL mission. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Artist concept of GRAIL mission. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s GRAIL-A Spacecraft 24 Hours Away From Moon

 

Written by DC Agle
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL)-A spacecraft is within 24 hours of its insertion burn that will place it into lunar orbit. At the time the spacecraft crossed the milestone at 1:21pm PST today (4:21pm EST), the spacecraft was 30,758 miles (49,500 kilometers) from the moon.

Launched aboard the same rocket on September 10th, 2011, GRAIL-A’s mirror twin, GRAIL-B, is also closing the gap between itself and the moon. GRAIL-B is scheduled to perform its lunar orbit insertion burn on New Year’s Day (January 1st) at 2:05pm PST (5:05pm EST).

Artist concept of GRAIL mission. GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem orbits around the moon to measure its gravity field in unprecedented detail. (Image credit: NASA/JPL)

Artist concept of GRAIL mission. GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem orbits around the moon to measure its gravity field in unprecedented detail. (Image credit: NASA/JPL)

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NASA Twin Spacecraft On Final Approach For Moon Orbit

 

Written by DC Agle
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
 
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s twin spacecraft to study the moon from crust to core are nearing their New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day main-engine burns to place the duo in lunar orbit.

Named Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL), the spacecraft are scheduled to be placed in orbit beginning at 1:21pm PST (4:21pm EST) for GRAIL-A on December 31st, and 2:05pm PST (5:05pm EST) on January 1st for GRAIL-B.

“Our team may not get to partake in a traditional New Year’s celebration, but I expect seeing our two spacecraft safely in lunar orbit should give us all the excitement and feeling of euphoria anyone in this line of work would ever need,” said David Lehman, project manager for GRAIL at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA.

Artist concept of GRAIL mission. GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem orbits around the moon to measure its gravity field in unprecedented detail. (Image credit: NASA/JPL)

Artist concept of GRAIL mission. GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem orbits around the moon to measure its gravity field in unprecedented detail. (Image credit: NASA/JPL)

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