Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

NASA Launches Mission to the Moon NASA Launches Mission to the Moon

NEXT :
This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member or subscriber? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

SPACE

NASA Launches Mission to the Moon

+

At Space Launch Complex 17B on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the second half of the clamshell-shaped Delta payload fairing swings into place around NASA's twin Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory spacecraft under the scrutiny of a spacecraft technician.(NASA/Jim Grossmann)

NASA launched a mission to the moon on Saturday, sending the twin lunar Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft on a 250,000-mile, three-and-a-half month voyage.

The uncrewed, solar-powered spacecraft  is moseying to the moon, taking a low-energy trajectory. It will spend 82 days mapping the moon’s surface and  its gravity in the most detail yet.

 

"If there was ever any doubt that Florida's Space Coast would continue to be open for business, that thought was drowned out by the roar of today's GRAIL launch," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said after the Saturday morning launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla. "GRAIL and many other exciting upcoming missions make clear that NASA is taking its next big leap into deep space exploration, and the space industry continues to provide the jobs and workers needed to support this critical effort."

In a sign of public-private alliances to come, a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket carried the twin GRAIL craft into space. NASA staff, demoralized after the last shuttle mission landed in July, appeared to have gotten some of their spunk back.

"Our GRAIL twins have Earth in their rearview mirrors and the moon in their sights," said David Lehman, GRAIL project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. 

 
Comments
comments powered by Disqus
 
MORE NATIONAL JOURNAL