Thu, Mar 08, 2012
Lunar Satellites Will Assemble Hi-Res Map Over The Next 84 Days
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.
"The initiation of science data collection is a time when the team lets out a collective sigh of relief because we are finally doing what we came to do," said Maria Zuber, principal investigator for the GRAIL mission at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. "But it is also a time where we have to put the coffee pot on, roll up our sleeves and get to work."
The GRAIL mission's twin, washing-machine-sized spacecraft, named Ebb and Flow, entered lunar orbit on New Year's Eve and New Years Day. GRAIL's science phase began Tuesday. During this mission phase, the spacecraft will transmit radio signals precisely defining the distance between them. As they fly over areas of greater and lesser gravity caused by visible features such as mountains, craters and masses hidden beneath the lunar surface, the distance between the two spacecraft will change slightly. Science activities are expected to conclude on May 29, after GRAIL maps the gravity field of the moon three times.
"We are in a near-polar, near-circular orbit with an average altitude of about 34 miles right now," said David Lehman, GRAIL project manager from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA. "During the science phase, our spacecraft will orbit the moon as high as 31 miles and as low as 10 miles. They will get as close to each other as 40 miles and as far apart as 140 miles."
Klyde Battles The Grammar Psychos!!! FMI: www.klydemorris.com>[...]
Also: Rare O-46 Rebuild, Valor Unveiled, OK's Anti-Fly-In Airport, FAA Screw-Ups, The first Enstrom Model 480B-G has been delivered to Rick Boswell of New Hampshire with the Garmin>[...]
Altostratus This middle cloud genus is composed of water droplets, and sometimes ice crystals, In the mid-latitudes, cloud bases are generally found between 15,000 and 20,000 feet.>[...]
"I am extremely saddened by the loss of my friend. Peter devoted the last 23 years of his life to this wonderful mission. His faith, dedication, and hard work were something to emu>[...]
Superior Air Parts Announces That Sport Performance Aviation Has Selected The XP-320 Engine For The SPA Panther Sport Aircraft Scott Hayes, V.P. Sales and Marketing for Superior Ai>[...]