PIA16492: Last Flight for GRAIL's Twin Spacecraft
 Target Name:  Moon
 Is a satellite of:  Earth
 Mission:  GRAIL
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)
 Spacecraft:  GRAIL
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
 Product Size:  1280 x 720 pixels (w x h)
 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