Earth, Moon and Gravity
NASA will host a news conference at 11 a.m. EDT (8 a.m. PDT), on Thursday Aug. 25, to discuss the upcoming launch of the Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission. more> http://tinyurl.com/3hsz8k5
NASA – Scheduled to launch Sept. 8, GRAIL will help answer longstanding questions about Earth’s moon and provide a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in our solar system formed.
Now that the GRAIL spacecraft are atop their rocket, a final flurry of checks and tests can begin to confirm that all is go for launch. The final series of checks begins tomorrow, Aug. 19, with an on-pad functional test. The test is designed to confirm that the spacecraft is healthy after the fueling and transport operations. Next week, among all the upcoming final tests, reviews and closeout operations leading up to liftoff, the GRAIL team will install the launch vehicle fairing around the spacecraft. more> http://tinyurl.com/3swd7tj
The primary goal of the GRACE mission is to accurately map variations in the Earth’s gravity field over its 5-year lifetime. The GRACE mission has two identical spacecrafts flying about 220 kilometers apart in a polar orbit 500 kilometers above the Earth.
It maps the Earth’s gravity fields by making accurate measurements of the distance between the two satellites, using geodetic quality Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers and a microwave ranging system. This provides scientists from all over the world with an efficient and cost-effective way to map the Earth’s gravity fields with unprecedented accuracy. The results from this mission yield crucial information about the distribution and flow of mass within the Earth and it’s surroundings. more> http://tinyurl.com/3gf6ae3