Amazing Grail Rocket Project
Designed to map the moon's gravity precisely, enabling scientists to learn what there is lurking beneath the lunar crust, also discovering if the core is solid, liquid or a combination of these two states.
Amazing Grail Rocket Project
It was only recently that the aptly named, unmanned - rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida, set to to deliver twin robotic moon probes designed to investigate below the surface of this dead satellite. inside. The 124-ft booster raced into orbit, and both probes were communicating with Nasa's Deep Space Network within hours of release.
These two satellites on board are destined fora point in space 932,0570 miles from earth, where gravitational pull from the planet and the Sun balances out, from which point., the Nasa Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory - GRAIL -satellites will approach the moon, arriving on Dec. 31 and Jan 1 after a leisurely trip.
Designed to map the moon's gravity precisely, enabling scientists to learn what there is lurking beneath the lunar crust, also discovering if the core is solid, liquid or a combination of these two states. When the new data is put together with that obtained by the 1969-1972 Apollo missions, as well as specifically created computer models, gravity maps could answer the question of how the moon formed and evolved over time.
-Designed to pass over the surface in single file, over the lunar poles, the probes will map dips and swells in lunar gravity, and being linked by radio waves, will be capable of detecting changes as small as the width of a red blood cell in the tug of lunar gravity
Terrain with greater mass will cause both robes to slightly increase speed as they fly over, altering distance between them in minute amounts, whilst regions of lower density will make the robes slow down. With measurements so precise, scientists must factor out many other forces, not least the gravitational influences of all other planets in the solar system
Scientists believe the moon was constructed from large chunks of debris jettisoned from Earth, after an object the size of Mars crashed into the planet billions of years ago, and the face of the satellite reveals and endless history of meteorite impacts, GRAIL researchers' keen to determine how all of this violent past impacted the interior of the moon.
There is no doubt that large impacts create vast amounts of energy, heating the planetary interior and potentially causing convection patterns to change, thus contributing to the way that a planet loses any gaseous atmosphere, according to lead researcher and manager of the $496-million GRAIL mission Maria Zuber, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This mission could well break brand new ground in the eventual ambition to have a moon colony, especially if the findings are very positive in terms of hidden caches of water.