NASA GRAIL-B Moon Probe in Lunar Orbit

By on Jan 2, 2012 in Announcement, Astronomy, Science, Technology, United States, World Comments

GRAIL-B in Lunar Orbit Insertion Burn
(Artist Rendition)

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) second unmanned Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory-B (GRAIL-B) has successfully entered the moon’s orbit while joining its companion GRAIL-A in studying the moon, as announced by several international news sites, January 1, 2012.

According to reports, GRAIL-B achieved lunar orbit at 2:43 p.m. PST (5:43 p.m. EST), January 1, 2012. Similarly, GRAIL-A successfully completed its burn a day ago at 2 p.m. PST (5 p.m. EST).

“NASA greets the new year with a new mission of exploration,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden told reporters.

“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,” Bolden further added.

Reports reveal that GRAIL’s science mission is to transmit radio signals as they fly over the moon while showing areas hidden under the lunar surface. This is said to be translated into a high-resolution map of the moon’s gravitational field.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California apparently manages the GRAIL mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

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