PIA16602: Spacecraft Observes Another Spacecraft at the Moon
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: 367 x 268 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: JPL
Full-Res TIFF: PIA16602.tif (98.68 kB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA16602.jpg (9.264 kB)

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This is the first footage of one orbiting robotic spacecraft taken by another orbiting robotic spacecraft at Earth's moon. "Flow," one of two satellites making up NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, captured this video of NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) as it flew by at a distance of about 12 miles (20 kilometers) on May 3, 2012. LRO is the single bright pixel that moves from top left to bottom right. The moon's south polar region is in the background, much of which is in darkness.

This footage was taken by Flow's "MoonKam" camera.

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/MIT/JPL/Sally Ride Science

Image Addition Date:
2012-12-13