PIA16492: Last Flight for GRAIL's Twin Spacecraft
Target Name: Moon
Is a satellite of: Earth
Mission: Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL)
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)
Spacecraft: GRAIL
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
Product Size: 1280 x 720 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: JPL
Full-Res TIFF: PIA16492.tif (922.8 kB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA16492.jpg (116.3 kB)

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This still image and animation show the final flight path for NASA's twin Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission spacecraft, which will impact the moon on Dec. 17, 2012, around 2:28 p.m. PST. Their successful prime and extended science missions now completed, the twin GRAIL spacecraft Ebb and Flow are being sent purposefully into the moon because their low orbit and fuel state precludes further scientific operations.

The animations were created from data obtained by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., manages the GRAIL mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, is home to the mission's principal investigator, Maria Zuber. GRAIL is part of the Discovery Program managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver built the spacecraft. The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA.

For more information about GRAIL, please visit http://grail.nasa.gov.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC/ASU

Image Addition Date:
2012-12-13