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NASA research orbiter starts circling moon

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dbt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-01-12 06:58 AM
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NASA research orbiter starts circling moon
Source: CNN International

The first of twin research spacecraft entered the moon's orbit Saturday, part of an effort to learn more about how it and other terrestrial bodies formed, NASA said.

The GRAIL-A -- which launched from Florida's Cape Canaveral on September 10, along with its sister spacecraft GRAIL-B -- began a "lunar orbit insertion burn" at about 4:30 p.m. ET, NASA said on an associated Twitter feed. <snip>

The two orbiters, each 3 1/2 feet high and 2 1/2 feet deep, are named for named for NASA's Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory.

They will fly in tandem orbits, measuring the gravity field and ideally answering "longstanding questions about the moon and (giving) scientists a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed," according to NASA.

Read more:

Much more at the link, including a Second Moon Theory. Cue the Pink Floyd vinyl.
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