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GRAIL: New DISCOVERY mission to the moon
Phil Stooke
post Mar 25 2012, 06:29 PM
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... and lots of nice MoonKAM pics here:

http://images.moonkam.ucsd.edu/main.php



Phil



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ElkGroveDan
post Mar 25 2012, 08:17 PM
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QUOTE (Holder of the Two Leashes @ Mar 22 2012, 12:40 PM) *
The mission has been extended to December, with the expecation now that the eclipse will be survivable.

Spaceflight Now article


...and we have a new spaceflight unit of measure

QUOTE
The GRAIL satellites, each about the size of a washing machine....


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djellison
post Mar 25 2012, 08:28 PM
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Oh no, I distinctly remember the Deep Impact impact being washing machine sized.

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Phil Stooke
post Mar 25 2012, 08:56 PM
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Yeah, but these are Maytags!

Phil



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Astro0
post Mar 28 2012, 12:45 AM
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These kids have picked some really nice shots for MoonKam.
Quick animation of a few frames smile.gif

Attached Image
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Doug M.
post Sep 21 2012, 11:34 PM
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So, decommissioning GRAIL. The mission will end in December 2012. Spaceflight 101 describes it as follows:

"When the science phase has ended, the final mission phase will begin. During a 5- to 7-day period, a Ka-Band calibration is made and GRAIL continue to provide science results as sunlight and power allows. Early in December, 2012, the GRAIL Mission ends. About 20 days after the end of this phase, the GRAIL Orbiters will impact the lunar surface because their orbits will not have been maintained. No special area has been targeted for impact."

Earlier this year, Spaceflight Now said: "Mission planners are formulating ideas for the impact scenario, evaluating the possibility of aiming the crashes so they are within the field-of-view of instruments on NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter."

So, we're getting pretty close now -- December 2012 is just three months away. Has anyone heard anything about the decommissioning? Have impact sites been chosen?


Doug M.
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Phil Stooke
post Sep 30 2012, 03:18 PM
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MoonKAM on GRAIL has taken over 100000 images now (I'm not sure if it is currently collecting images). There is a handy interface to them here:

https://moonkam.ucsd.edu/image_gallery/locations

A zoomable map interface of the now almost ubiquitous design (give the designer of that interface a nobel prize or something) - you can search by various methods, then click on an icon and link to the image itself.


(there's also a vast gallery but that is hard to find things in)

Phil


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djellison
post Sep 30 2012, 03:23 PM
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So we are extending the GRAIL/MoonKAM Eyes on the Solar System interface this coming week to include the extension, but even we don't have details in the final decommissioning. There's a big +/- in there, and no detail on the finality of it all yet.
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0101Morpheus
post Nov 5 2012, 11:31 PM
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Any idea when the gravity map will be published? I can not seem to find any information on it. Is there one currently being made or is it not public yet?

The entire mission seems pretty uneventful so far. From what I remember there was a some excitement because GRAIL would be able to test the Two Moon hypothesis. What happened? Is it still a valid theory?

Even if the gravity map isn't complete yet, if part of it seemed to suggest the above was correct I would expect at least some kind of announcement from NASA. Is everyone being hush, hush, instead?

It's my first post so be gentle smile.gif
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Phil Stooke
post Nov 5 2012, 11:53 PM
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The mission is still in progress, currently acquiring higher resolution data, and it takes a lot of processing and analysis. The map is not released because it's not finished, and the interpretations can't be done properly until it is finished. It's not like an imaging mission where results are available on day 1. We know the mission will end in December, and I would expect very little serious detail to be published until (a) LPSC in March next year, or (cool.gif the publication of a paper in Science or Nature, whichever comes first. So - be patient just a bit longer!

Phil



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elakdawalla
post Nov 6 2012, 12:05 AM
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Actually, at DPS they said that there was an article in preparation (I assume in Science) based on the prime mission data, and that they hoped but couldn't be certain that it'd be published around the time of AGU, which is in a month. But it sounds like the schedule's a bit tight for that. Hopefully before the end of the calendar year.


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Phil Stooke
post Nov 24 2012, 10:39 PM
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We are coming up to the end of GRAIL's extended mission. Has anyone heard anything about the final impact plans? Originally the impacts were to be untargeted, but later there were suggestions of impacts within view of LRO, or one impact in view of the other GRAIL's MoonKAM.

Phil



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elakdawalla
post Nov 25 2012, 06:06 AM
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FWIW, I haven't heard a thing. That mission has pretty successfully flown under the media radar since it launched. I think some missions wish they had more attention, but I think GRAIL prefers operating in "stealth mode." Their science results will improve massively the more time they have to work with more data, so the longer nobody pays attention to them, the better they'll look when they do create a stir.

I wonder how far in advance they have to know where they're going to crash in order to attempt LRO observations of the impact? (I don't even know if LRO observations will be possible.)


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Phil Stooke
post Nov 27 2012, 09:52 PM
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This is from spaceflight101, a very useful site:

http://www.spaceflight101.com/grail-mission-updates.html

"A total of three additional Mapping Cycles are planned. On December 3, 2012, the mission will come to an end. A short period of decommissioning will be performed before the two spacecraft impact the lunar surface. To further increase science data return, Teams are currently evaluating a targeted Mission Termination meaning that the GRAIL Orbiters will make a targeted Crash on a picked site on the Lunar Surface that is in sight of instruments on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. A decision on that will be made as the mission progresses and propellant is consumed to support the science phase of the mission."


So LRO observations were considered earlier in the year... but did it turn out to be feasible? And (or) will it happen?

We should know fairly soon, I guess.

Phil



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elakdawalla
post Nov 27 2012, 10:12 PM
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There's a press briefing at AGU on Wednesday next week. I won't be there in person, but Casey Dreier will be there representing the Planetary Society. I've asked him if he can ask this question. (I want to save my question for science smile.gif )


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