Skip to comments.NASA's GRAIL lunar mission ends with two crashed satellites
Posted on 12/18/2012 12:03:22 PM PST by BenLurkin
After skimming the moons surface for nearly a year, NASAs two Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) drones ended their mission on Monday by crashing into a mountain located at the Moons north pole. While it might sound like an accident, the crash was actually a planned maneuver.
The decision to crash the two spacecraft, Ebb and Flow, was made after NASA's scientists evaluated that the drones could no longer function with low fuel levels. More importantly, if the probes were to be left in low orbit, there was the possibility that they could damage one of the previous Apollo or Soviet lunar lander sites.
The impact, however, marks a successful end to the GRAIL project to survey the Moons surface with target sites pointed out by middle-school students. Over the last year, the two drones have captured over 115,000 photos of the lunar surface using a MoonKAM camera.
Not only did the satellites produce a new library of images, they also observed how the topography changed the Moon's gravity field whenever they passed over features such as mountains and craters.
Up to their last dying engine burns, the probes also helped engineers validate fuel consumption computer models that will help them plan out future space missions. NASA has named the site where Ebb and Flow impacted the moon in honor of the late astronaut Sally K. Ride, America's first woman in space as well as the leading proponent of the MoonKAM program.
(Excerpt) Read more at techhive.com ...
The Sally Ride Crash Site
Silly. What does this have to do with AGW or muslim outreach?
I was wondering if they may have crashed them as a source for the seismic sensors on the moon. However, I just read that they were all turned off in 1977! (Jeez - I’m getting old!).
Don't touch the moon--I need it for loving
Don't touch the stars--I need them, too.
All you frantic scientists--find something else to do.
We wouldn't want to disturb that, now would we?
What Soviet lunar landing site? Did I miss something?
I (used to) want my NASA TV.
The Soviets didn’t walk on the moon, but they landed some probes, including the first one ever I believe.
See Lunokhod. Means “Moon Walk”.
Really! Need more info.
The Soviets were first to achieve controlled (unmaned) landings on the Moon and Venus.
The moon lander was a success and sent back the first photos from the lunar surface. The Venus lander failed while transmitting the first photo.
See my post 14
Thanks BenLurkin. Extra APoD ping.
The Soviets landed unmanned probes on the moon.
Per my other post- the Soviets landed unmanned probes on the Moon. They were also the first to land probes on the surface of Venus.
I really think we should sell Richard Branson on the idea of building a resort on the Moon, with guided tours of the Apollo sites.
Or even better than a resort on the Moon- how about a retirement home? In 0.16G many seniors who need walkers or wheelchairs would be able to hop, skip and jump wherever they want to go.
Yes, yes, that's fine! What's out of here is to think that a crashing satellite has a chance of hitting any of those installations. I'll run some numbers when I have some time but it's at least a billion to 1.
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