Author Topic: LIVE: NASA - GRAIL Updates  (Read 46130 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: NASA - GRAIL Updates
« Reply #100 on: 12/17/2012 09:30 pm »
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Offline Lee Jay

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Re: LIVE: NASA - GRAIL Updates
« Reply #101 on: 12/17/2012 09:30 pm »
Great mission.  Congrats to all involved.

Offline robertross

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Re: LIVE: NASA - GRAIL Updates
« Reply #102 on: 12/17/2012 09:30 pm »

Offline robertross

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Re: LIVE: NASA - GRAIL Updates
« Reply #103 on: 12/17/2012 09:31 pm »

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: NASA - GRAIL Updates
« Reply #104 on: 12/17/2012 09:31 pm »
Naming the impact area after Sally Ride.
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Offline robertross

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Re: LIVE: NASA - GRAIL Updates
« Reply #105 on: 12/17/2012 09:31 pm »
Final Impact site named after Sally Ride!!
« Last Edit: 12/17/2012 09:32 pm by robertross »

Offline robertross

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Re: LIVE: NASA - GRAIL Updates
« Reply #106 on: 12/17/2012 09:33 pm »
"Ebb & Flow removed a veil from the moon"

Offline spectre9

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Re: LIVE: NASA - GRAIL Updates
« Reply #107 on: 12/17/2012 09:34 pm »
Really enjoying the gravity maps.  ;D

Great mission and very capable little spacecraft for their size.

Ebb & Flow will be missed.  :(

Thanks for the live coverage guys.

Offline robertross

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Re: LIVE: NASA - GRAIL Updates
« Reply #108 on: 12/17/2012 09:35 pm »
And that's it!

Congrats to the teams on a great mission, getting over those hurdles at the end, and making final impact.

Offline Robert Thompson

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Re: LIVE: NASA - GRAIL Updates
« Reply #109 on: 12/17/2012 09:35 pm »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_craters_named_for_space_explorers
Lunar craters named for space explorers

http://nasawatch.com/archives/2011/02/lunar-craters-p.html
Lunar Craters (Provisionally) Named for Columbia Astronauts

Online jacqmans

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Re: LIVE: NASA - GRAIL Updates
« Reply #110 on: 12/17/2012 10:21 pm »
RELEASE: 12-438

NASA'S GRAIL LUNAR IMPACT SITE NAMED FOR ASTRONAUT SALLY RIDE

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA has named the site where twin agency
spacecraft impacted the moon Monday in honor of the late astronaut,
Sally K. Ride, who was America's first woman in space and a member of
the probes' mission team.

Last Friday, Ebb and Flow, the two spacecraft comprising NASA's
Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, were
commanded to descend into a lower orbit that would result in an
impact Monday on a mountain near the moon's north pole. The
formation-flying duo hit the lunar surface as planned at 2:28:51 p.m.
PST (5:28:51 p.m. EST) and 2:29:21 p.m. PST (5:29:21 p.m. EST) at a
speed of 3,760 mph (1.7 kilometers per second). The location of the
Sally K. Ride Impact Site is on the southern face of an approximately
1.5 mile- (2.5 -kilometer) tall mountain near a crater named
Goldschmidt.

"Sally was all about getting the job done, whether it be in exploring
space, inspiring the next generation, or helping make the GRAIL
mission the resounding success it is today," said GRAIL principal
investigator Maria Zuber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
in Cambridge. "As we complete our lunar mission, we are proud we can
honor Sally Ride's contributions by naming this corner of the moon
after her."

The impact marked a successful end to the GRAIL mission, which was
NASA's first planetary mission to carry cameras fully dedicated to
education and public outreach. Ride, who died in July after a
17-month battle with pancreatic cancer, led GRAIL's MoonKAM (Moon
Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students) Program through her
company, Sally Ride Science, in San Diego.

Along with its primary science instrument, each spacecraft carried a
MoonKAM camera that took more than 115,000 total images of the lunar
surface. Imaging targets were proposed by middle school students from
across the country and the resulting images returned for them to
study. The names of the spacecraft were selected by Ride and the
mission team from student submissions in a nationwide contest.

"Sally Ride worked tirelessly throughout her life to remind all of us,
especially girls, to keep questioning and learning," said Sen.
Barbara Mikulski of Maryland. "Today her passion for making students
part of NASA's science is honored by naming the impact site for her."


Fifty minutes prior to impact, the spacecraft fired their engines
until the propellant was depleted. The maneuver was designed to
determine precisely the amount of fuel remaining in the tanks. This
will help NASA engineers validate computer models to improve
predictions of fuel needs for future missions.

"Ebb fired its engines for 4 minutes, 3 seconds and Flow fired its for
5 minutes, 7 seconds," said GRAIL project manager David Lehman of
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. "It was
one final important set of data from a mission that was filled with
great science and engineering data."

The mission team deduced that much of the material aboard each
spacecraft was broken up in the energy released during the impacts.
Most of what remained probably is buried in shallow craters. The
craters' size may be determined when NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance
Orbiter returns images of the area in several weeks.

Launched in September 2011, Ebb and Flow had been orbiting the moon
since Jan. 1, 2012. The probes intentionally were sent into the lunar
surface because they did not have sufficient altitude or fuel to
continue science operations. Their successful prime and extended
science missions generated the highest resolution gravity field map
of any celestial body. The map will provide a better understanding of
how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed and
evolved.

"We will miss our lunar twins, but the scientists tell me it will take
years to analyze all the great data they got, and that is why we came
to the moon in the first place," Lehman said. "So long, Ebb and Flow,
and we thank you."

JPL manages the GRAIL mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate
in Washington. 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.

For more information about GRAIL, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/grail

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: NASA - GRAIL Updates
« Reply #111 on: 12/17/2012 10:35 pm »
Our article on it, using some of William Graham's spacecraft overview:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/12/grail-mission-ends-with-lunar-impact-and-the-honoring-of-a-hero/
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: LIVE: NASA - GRAIL Updates
« Reply #112 on: 12/17/2012 10:37 pm »
Here's a heart-felt memory...
This is what schools are meant to be about... God bless the victims of Sandy Hook...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator

Offline mdo

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Re: LIVE: NASA - GRAIL Updates
« Reply #113 on: 12/18/2012 08:35 am »
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2012/12110923-grail-results.html
Isostasy, gravity, and the Moon: an explainer of the first results of the GRAIL mission, Lakdawalla, 12/11/12

That was a great article!

An extraordinary primer for a demanding subject - thanks for posting.

Offline Robert Thompson

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Offline hyper_snyper

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Online catdlr

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Re: LIVE: NASA - GRAIL Updates
« Reply #116 on: 03/19/2013 06:22 pm »
News feature: 2013-103                                                                       March 19, 2013

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Sees GRAIL's Explosive Farewell

 

The full version of this story with accompanying images is at:
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-103&cid=release_2013-103

Many spacecraft just fade away, drifting silently through space after their mission is over, but not GRAIL. NASA's twin GRAIL (Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory) spacecraft went out in a blaze of glory on Dec. 17, 2012, when they were intentionally crashed into a mountain near the moon's north pole.

The successful mission to study the moon's interior took the plunge to get one last bit of science: with the spacecraft kicking up a cloud of dust and gas with each impact, researchers hoped to discover more about the moon's composition. However, with the moon about 380,000 kilometers (over 236,000 miles) away from Earth, the impact plumes would be difficult to observe from here. Fortunately, GRAIL had company. NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is orbiting the moon as well, busily making high-resolution maps of the lunar surface. With just three weeks notice, the LRO team scrambled to get their orbiter in the right place at the right time to witness GRAIL's fiery finale.

"We were informed by the GRAIL team about three weeks prior to the impact exactly where the impact site would be," said LRO Project Scientist John Keller of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "The GRAIL team's focus was on obtaining the highest-resolution gravity measurements possible from the last few orbits of the GRAIL spacecraft, which led to uncertainty in the ultimate impact site until relatively late."

LRO was only about 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the lunar surface at the time of the impact, and variations in gravity from massive features like lunar mountains tugged on the spacecraft, altering its orbit.

The site was in shadow at the time of the impact, so the LRO team had to wait until the plumes rose high enough to be in sunlight before making the observation. The Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP), an ultraviolet imaging spectrograph on board the spacecraft, saw mercury and enhancements of atomic hydrogen in the plume.

"The mercury observation is consistent with what the LRO team saw from the LCROSS impact in October 2009," said Keller. "LCROSS (Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite) saw significant amounts of mercury, but the LCROSS site was at the bottom of the moon's Cabeus crater, which hasn't seen sunlight for more than a billion years and is therefore extremely cold."

LRO's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera was able to make an image of the craters from the GRAIL impacts despite their relatively small size.

The two spacecraft were relatively small -- cubes about the size of a washing machine with a mass of about 200 kilograms (440 pounds) each at the time of impact. The spacecraft were traveling about 3,800 mph (6,100 kilometers per hour) when they hit the surface.

"Both craters are relatively small, perhaps 4 to 6 meters (about 13 to 20 feet) in diameter and both have faint, dark, ejecta patterns, which is unusual," said Mark Robinson, LROC principal investigator at Arizona State University's School of Earth and Space Sciences, Tempe, Ariz. "Fresh impact craters on the moon are typically bright, but these may be dark due to spacecraft material being mixed with the ejecta."

"Both impact sites lie on the southern slope of an unnamed massif [mountain] that lies south of the crater Mouchez and northeast of the crater Philolaus," said Robinson. "The massif stands as much as 2,500 meters [about 8,202 feet] above the surrounding plains. The impact sites are at an elevation of about 700 meters [around 2,296 feet] and 1,000 meters [3,281 feet], respectively, about 500 to 800 meters [approximately 1,640 to 2,625 feet] below the summit. The two impact craters are about 2,200 meters [roughly 7,218 feet] apart. GRAIL B [renamed Flow] impacted about 30 seconds after GRAIL A [Ebb] at a site to the west and north of GRAIL A."

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter complemented the GRAIL mission in other ways as well. LRO's Diviner lunar radiometer observed the impact site and confirmed that the amount of heating of the surface there by the relatively small GRAIL spacecraft was within expectations. LRO's Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument bounced laser pulses off the surface to build up a precise map of the lunar terrain, including the three-dimensional structure of features like mountains and craters.

"Combining the LRO LOLA topography map with GRAIL's gravity map yields some very interesting results," said Keller. "You expect that areas with mountains will have a little stronger gravity, while features like craters will have a little less. However, when you subtract out the topography, you get another map that reveals gravity differences that are not tied to the surface. It gives insight into structures deeper in the moon's interior."

JPL manages the GRAIL mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. 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.

For the mission's press kit and other information about GRAIL, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/grail . You can follow JPL News on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/nasajpl and on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/nasajpl .

The research was funded by the LRO mission, currently under NASA's Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. LRO is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Images are posted at: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/news/grail-results.html

DC Agle (818) 393-9011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
[email protected]
- end -


<Click on the picture below to see the before and after.>
« Last Edit: 03/19/2013 06:24 pm by catdlr »
Tony De La Rosa

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Re: LIVE: NASA - GRAIL Updates
« Reply #117 on: 03/20/2013 02:32 pm »
2012 Dec 19: GRAIL MoonKAM Final Video (Camera 2)

by: RocketCamByEcliptic

« Last Edit: 03/20/2013 02:33 pm by catdlr »
Tony De La Rosa

Online catdlr

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Re: LIVE: NASA - GRAIL Updates
« Reply #118 on: 03/20/2013 02:33 pm »
2012 Dec 19: GRAIL MoonKAM Final Video (Camera 3)

by: RocketCamByEcliptic

Tony De La Rosa

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Re: LIVE: NASA - GRAIL Updates
« Reply #119 on: 05/30/2013 09:43 pm »
May 30, 2013
 
RELEASE : 13-164
 
 
NASA's Grail Mission Solves Mystery of Moon's Surface Gravity
 
 
PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission has uncovered the origin of massive invisible regions that make the moon's gravity uneven, a phenomenon that affects the operations of lunar-orbiting spacecraft.

Because of GRAIL's findings, spacecraft on missions to other celestial bodies can navigate with greater precision in the future.
GRAIL's twin spacecraft studied the internal structure and composition of the moon in unprecedented detail for nine months. They pinpointed the locations of large, dense regions called mass concentrations, or mascons, which are characterized by strong gravitational pull. Mascons lurk beneath the lunar surface and cannot be seen by normal optical cameras.

GRAIL scientists found the mascons by combining the gravity data from GRAIL with sophisticated computer models of large asteroid impacts and known detail about the geologic evolution of the impact craters. The findings are published in the May 30 edition of the journal Science.

"GRAIL data confirm that lunar mascons were generated when large asteroids or comets impacted the ancient moon, when its interior was much hotter than it is now," said Jay Melosh, a GRAIL co-investigator at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., and lead author of the paper. "We believe the data from GRAIL show how the moon's light crust and dense mantle combined with the shock of a large impact to create the distinctive pattern of density anomalies that we recognize as mascons."

The origin of lunar mascons has been a mystery in planetary science since their discovery in 1968 by a team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. Researchers generally agree mascons resulted from ancient impacts billions of years ago. It was not clear until now how much of the unseen excess mass resulted from lava filling the crater or iron-rich mantle upwelling to the crust.

On a map of the moon's gravity field, a mascon appears in a target pattern. The bulls-eye has a gravity surplus. It is surrounded by a ring with a gravity deficit. A ring with a gravity surplus surrounds the bulls-eye and the inner ring. This pattern arises as a natural consequence of crater excavation, collapse and cooling following an impact. The increase in density and gravitational pull at a mascon's bulls-eye is caused by lunar material melted from the heat of a long-ago asteroid impact.

"Knowing about mascons means we finally are beginning to understand the geologic consequences of large impacts," Melosh said. "Our planet suffered similar impacts in its distant past, and understanding mascons may teach us more about the ancient Earth, perhaps about how plate tectonics got started and what created the first ore deposits."

This new understanding of lunar mascons also is expected to influence planetary geology well beyond that of Earth and our nearest celestial neighbor.

"Mascons also have been identified in association with impact basins on Mars and Mercury," said GRAIL principal investigator Maria Zuber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. "Understanding them on the moon tells us how the largest impacts modified early planetary crusts."

Launched as GRAIL A and GRAIL B in September 2011, the probes, renamed Ebb and Flow, operated in a nearly circular orbit near the poles of the moon at an altitude of about 34 miles (55 kilometers) until their mission ended in December 2012. The distance between the twin probes changed slightly as they flew over areas of greater and lesser gravity caused by visible features, such as mountains and craters, and by masses hidden beneath the lunar surface.

JPL managed GRAIL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The mission was part of the Discovery Program managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Md., manages the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Operations of the spacecraft's laser altimeter, which provided supporting data used in this investigation, is led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver built GRAIL.

For more information about GRAIL, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/grail

 
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« Last Edit: 05/30/2013 09:47 pm by catdlr »
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