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Space & Astronomy

NASA probes to smash in to Moon

By T.K. Randall
December 14, 2012 · Comment icon 15 comments



Image Credit: NASA
The twin lunar orbiters Ebb and Flow are being prepared for their final descent on Monday.
The two probes made up NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, an endeavor that produced the highest-resolution gravity field map of any celestial body. To round off the mission both probes will he sent on a collision course which will see them smashing in to a lunar mountain, however no images of the event will be captured due to the region being in shadow at the time of impact.

"It is going to be difficult to say goodbye," said principal investigator Maria Zuber. "Our little robotic twins have been exemplary members of the GRAIL family, and planetary science has advanced in a major way because of their contributions."
Twin lunar-orbiting NASA spacecraft that have allowed scientists to learn more about the internal structure and composition of the moon are being prepared for their controlled descent and impact on a mountain near the moon's north pole at about 2:28 p. m. PST (5:28 p. m. EST) Monday, Dec. 17.


Source: NASA | Comments (15)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by GirlfromOz 10 years ago
Nasa will send another mission to the moon.Funding is important.If no funding results,then NASA will issue another message of imminent disaster to the world.All the more, issuance of another disaster results in the world banding together to reply in another request for humanitarian research.Get it?
Comment icon #7 Posted by Sundew 10 years ago
"Twin lunar-orbiting NASA spacecraft ... are being prepared for their ... impact on a mountain near the moon's north pole at about 2:28 p. m. PST (5:28 p. m. EST) Monday, Dec. 17." Blindfold and cigarette?
Comment icon #8 Posted by Hazzard 10 years ago
I just wish we could see the impact,... up close I mean.
Comment icon #9 Posted by R4z3rsPar4d0x 10 years ago
These things must be very well built if they can collide with a mountain at that speed and not totally ruin themselves
Comment icon #10 Posted by AsteroidX 10 years ago
space litter. real cool
Comment icon #11 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 10 years ago
These things must be very well built if they can collide with a mountain at that speed and not totally ruin themselves They were totally destroyed in the impact, which was the point. They were deliberately crashed into a mountain to prevent them causing any problem for future exploration or causing damage to an historic site such as one of the Apollo landing sites.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 10 years ago
space litter. real cool Again, totally missing the point. They would have been space litter if they hadn't been crashed in this way.
Comment icon #13 Posted by AsteroidX 10 years ago
No. Turning them into space litter is bad planning. Now theres a few thousand pieces of spacecraft littered all over the moon. If they couldnt itleast land them for future retreival then they should have planned to reenter and have them burn up here. If were gonna take of other planets/moons like we take care of our own planet then we should stop going out there and just watch through the telescope.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 10 years ago
No. Turning them into space litter is bad planning. Now theres a few thousand pieces of spacecraft littered all over the moon. If they couldnt itleast land them for future retreival then they should have planned to reenter and have them burn up here. If were gonna take of other planets/moons like we take care of our own planet then we should stop going out there and just watch through the telescope. Firstly they were not designed to land. You no more design an orbiter to land than you design an aircraft to operate underwater. Secondly if they had to carry enough fuel to leave lunar orbit and r... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by -M7 10 years ago
[just for humorist effect] SMASHING isn't it?


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