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GRAIL Spacecraft Launch

GRAIL Spacecraft Launch

C017/3369

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Credit

NASA / SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Fire and smoke light up a blue sky as a Delta II rocket propels NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission into space. GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon's gravitational field. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon's crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon's gravity field so completely that future moon vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon's surface.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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