Pillow Astronaut

GO GRAIL

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What are you doing here? You should be over at NASA TV watching the GRAIL launch! Coverage began yesterday at the NASATweetup.

NASATweetup GRAIL Launch

Charles Bolden at the GRAIL Launch Tweetup

This morning, there are two possible launch times for the Delta II Heavy Launch Vehicle, which will lift off from Space Launch Complex 17B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida: 8:37:06 am and/or 9:16:12 am ET.

At one of these launch times, the Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission will fly twin spacecraft in tandem orbits around the Moon.

NASA GRAIL Mission

Twin Moon Satellites

The mission's primary science objectives will be to measure the lunar gravity field, determine the structure of the sub-surface interior from crust to core and to infer the moon's stages of thermal evolution, and also examine the history of asteroid collisions.

Among GRAIL's many hardware charms are the "moonkams", five cameras aboard each spacecraft which will provide a way for students and the public to participate in GRAIL's mission of lunar exploration. NASA astronaut Sally Ride. Over GRAIL's 80-day mission in 2012, classrooms that request photography of target areas on the Moon can check the MoonKam site for images of their selected regions.

GRAIL Mission EmblemFollow #NASATweetup and #GRAIL trends today on Twitter to see all about the mission launch, or go straight to the Grail-Launch public list.

Also check out the GRAIL Fact Sheet.

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