NASA to Provide Commentary as Grail Moon Mission Ends

Last Flight for GRAIL's Twin Spacecraft This still image and animation shows the final flight path for NASA's twin Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission spacecraft, which will impact the moon on Dec. 17, 2012, around 2:28 p.m. PST. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC/ASU
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December 14, 2012

PASADENA, Calif. - NASA will provide live commentary of the scheduled lunar surface impacts of its twin Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft beginning at 2 p.m. PST (5 p.m. EST) Monday, Dec. 17. The event will be broadcast on NASA Television and streamed on the agency's website.

The two probes will hit a mountain near the lunar north pole at approximately 2:28 p.m. PST Monday, bringing their successful prime and extended science missions to an end.

Commentary will originate from the control room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Coverage will last about 35 minutes and include live interviews with GRAIL team members. GRAIL's final resting place on the moon will be in shadow at the time of impact, so no video documentation of the impacts is expected.

Data from the GRAIL twins are allowing scientists to learn about the moon's internal structure and composition in unprecedented detail. The two probes are being sent purposely into the moon because they do not have enough altitude or fuel to continue science operations.

For NASA TV streaming video, schedule and downlink information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv . The coverage will also be streamed live on Ustream at: http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2 .

Join the conversation on Twitter by following the hashtag #GRAIL. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/connect .

For the mission's press kit and other information about GRAIL, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/grail . You can follow JPL News on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/nasajpl and on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/nasajpl .

D.C. Agle 818-393-9011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
agle@jpl.nasa.gov

Dwayne Brown 202-358-1726
NASA Headquarters, Washington
dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov

Sarah McDonnell 617-253-8923
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
s_mcd@mit.edu

2012-398b



Using a precision formation-flying technique, the twin GRAIL spacecraft will map the moon's gravity field, as depicted in this artist's rendering. NASA's GRAIL Mission Puts a New Face on the Moon

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Using a precision formation-flying technique, the twin GRAIL spacecraft will map the moon's gravity field, as depicted in this artist's rendering. NASA's GRAIL Mission Solves Mystery of Moon's Surface Gravity

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Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera image shows the impact site of GRAIL A Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Sees GRAIL's Explosive Farewell

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