GRAIL Moon Mission launch scheduled

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GRAIL has two one-second launch windows on Sept. 8; it can lift off at either 8:37 a.m. or 9:16 a.m. EDT (1237 or 1316 GMT). The launch period extends until Oct. 19.


During NASA's Apollo missions, astronauts reached the moon just a few days after blasting off. But the two GRAIL (Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory) spacecraft will take nearly four months to get there.The GRAIL A probe should settle into lunar orbit on Dec. 31, with its twin GRAIL B arriving a day later.

The $496 million spacecraft are taking a long, looping trip via the sun-Earth Lagrange Point 1, a gravitationally stable spot between our planet and the sun. This route is energy-efficient, researchers said, helping keep the mission's costs down.

The two GRAIL probes will settle into polar orbits just 34 miles (55 kilometers) above the lunar surface and essentially chase each around the moon.

The distance between the twin spacecraft will change as they orbit, owing to regional gravitational differences on the moon. The spacecraft will be able to pick up these distance differences, and with incredible precision — less than the width of a human red blood cell, Zuber said.


NASA Prepares Twin Moon Probes for Launch | | NASA & GRAIL Mission | Moon Structure & Formation | Space.com


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO6Gflxs6Io&feature=youtube_gdata_player]What's Up Sept: The moon and GRAIL launch - YouTube[/ame]​

Better video here @ Space.com : Lumpy Gravity Has The Moon - GRAIL to Learn Luna | Space.com
 
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Either 8:37 or 9:16 am EDT.

Mission briefing "tweet up" (don't know what this is) at 3;00 pm EDT today (not live) on NASA TV.

GRAIL briefing will be rebroadcast every few hours if you miss the 3 pm broadcast.
 
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GRAIL Mission Science Briefing

From Youtube


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6WgKgiRFx8&feature=youtube_gdata_player][GRAIL] Mission Science Briefing - YouTube[/ame]
 
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Launch delayed due to upper level winds.

Next launch attempt...9:16 am EDT.
 
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Todays launch has been scrubbed...darn upper level winds. -_-


Next launch opportunity tomorrow 9/9 @ 8:33 & 9:12 am EDT.
 
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ForexTV.com (New York) by Staff Reporter

The launch of a Delta II rocket carrying NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) has been postponed one day to allow additional time to review propulsion system data from Thursday’s detanking operation after the launch attempt was scrubbed due to upper level winds. The postponement will allow the launch team additional time to review the data.

The launch now is planned for Saturday, Sept. 10 from Space Launch Complex-17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. There are two instantaneous launch opportunities at 8:29:45 a.m. and 9:08:52 a.m. EDT. The forecast for Sept. 10 shows a 60 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for a Saturday morning launch.


GRAIL Launch Delayed Till Saturday; NASA [multi-media] - September 9 11 2:25 EDT - ForexTV.com
 
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Looks like we are a go for launch this morning at 8:29 EDT. :woohoo:
 
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Looks like we are a go for launch this morning at 8:29 EDT. :woohoo:
Missed the first window...my feed dropped out, so I can't say why.

Looks like they are green for the second window....9:08 am.
 
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Flawless launch...WTG NASA.

The flight animation is awesome.

Still have some time to watch the live animation of the second burn and GRAIL release. :thup:
 
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Launch coverage resumes in one minute at NASA TV.
 

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[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0rYAXNS0cw&feature=player_detailpage]LIFTOFF of the Delta 2 rocket with GRAIL; bound for the moon! - YouTube[/ame]​
 

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