Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

NASA's GRAIL lunar mission ends with two crashed satellites
tech hive ^ | Dec 18, 2012 11:25 AM | Kevin Lee

Posted on 12/18/2012 12:03:22 PM PST by BenLurkin

After skimming the moon’s surface for nearly a year, NASA’s two Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) drones ended their mission on Monday by crashing into a mountain located at the Moon’s 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 Moon’s 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 ...


TOPICS: Science
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 12/18/2012 12:03:27 PM PST by BenLurkin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

The Sally Ride Crash Site


2 posted on 12/18/2012 12:04:30 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

Silly. What does this have to do with AGW or muslim outreach?


3 posted on 12/18/2012 12:07:12 PM PST by brownsfan (Behold, the power of government cheese.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

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!).


4 posted on 12/18/2012 12:10:38 PM PST by 21twelve (So I [God] gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. Psalm 81:12)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin
Don't touch the moon!

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.

5 posted on 12/18/2012 12:26:47 PM PST by Fiji Hill (Io Triumphe!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin
there was the possibility that they could damage one of the previous Apollo or Soviet lunar lander sites.

What?!?!?

6 posted on 12/18/2012 1:28:51 PM PST by mwilli20 (BO. Making communists proud all over the world.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mwilli20
There's some really nasty stuff lurking at the Apollo 18 site ...

We wouldn't want to disturb that, now would we?

7 posted on 12/18/2012 1:32:13 PM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin
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.

What Soviet lunar landing site? Did I miss something?

8 posted on 12/18/2012 1:33:39 PM PST by pgkdan (We are witnessing the modern sack of Rome. The barbarians have taken over.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

I (used to) want my NASA TV.


9 posted on 12/18/2012 1:39:18 PM PST by equaviator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pgkdan

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”.


10 posted on 12/18/2012 1:51:43 PM PST by Rinnwald
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: pgkdan
Could be the one where our guys buried the Russian crew. That was the mission where one roll of film "didn't develop".....

;^)

11 posted on 12/18/2012 2:03:38 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin
and
12 posted on 12/18/2012 2:26:22 PM PST by hattend (Firearms and ammunition...the only growing industries under the Obama regime.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mwilli20
What?!?!?

Really! Need more info.

13 posted on 12/18/2012 2:48:55 PM PST by houeto (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: pgkdan

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.


14 posted on 12/18/2012 3:17:39 PM PST by varyouga
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: houeto; Rinnwald

See my post 14


15 posted on 12/18/2012 3:19:32 PM PST by varyouga
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: brytlea; cripplecreek; decimon; bigheadfred; KoRn; Grammy; married21; steelyourfaith; Mmogamer; ...

Thanks BenLurkin. Extra APoD ping.


16 posted on 12/18/2012 8:04:55 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Fiji Hill
I think this is better.
17 posted on 12/18/2012 8:48:46 PM PST by Squawk 8888 (True North- Strong Leader, Strong Dollar, Strong and Free!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: mwilli20

The Soviets landed unmanned probes on the moon.


18 posted on 12/18/2012 8:49:59 PM PST by Squawk 8888 (True North- Strong Leader, Strong Dollar, Strong and Free!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: pgkdan

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.


19 posted on 12/18/2012 8:51:56 PM PST by Squawk 8888 (True North- Strong Leader, Strong Dollar, Strong and Free!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Squawk 8888
Or maybe this.
20 posted on 12/18/2012 8:54:47 PM PST by Fiji Hill (Io Triumphe!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin
there was the possibility that they could damage one of the previous Apollo or Soviet lunar lander sites.

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.

21 posted on 12/18/2012 8:55:44 PM PST by Squawk 8888 (True North- Strong Leader, Strong Dollar, Strong and Free!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pgkdan
Some of them made it. First successful moon landing in 1966.

Soviet lunar probe history.

22 posted on 12/18/2012 8:57:45 PM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

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.


23 posted on 12/18/2012 8:58:07 PM PST by Squawk 8888 (True North- Strong Leader, Strong Dollar, Strong and Free!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin; Revolting cat!; Slings and Arrows

24 posted on 12/19/2012 1:19:59 PM PST by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Squawk 8888
The Soviets landed unmanned probes on the moon.

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.

25 posted on 12/20/2012 11:55:29 AM PST by mwilli20 (BO. Making communists proud all over the world.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson