Three days prior to its planned impact on a lunar mountain, mission controllers activated the camera aboard one of NASA's GRAIL twins to take some final photos from lunar orbit.


This video of the moon was taken by the NASA GRAIL mission’s MoonKAM (Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students) camera aboard the Ebb spacecraft on Dec. 14, 2012. At the time the images were taken, the spacecraft was about 6 miles (10 kilometers) above the northern hemisphere of the moon’s far side, in the vicinity of the Jackson impact crater. This imagery was acquired as part of a final checkout of spacecraft equipment prior to its planned impact on a mountain near the moon’s north pole on Dec. 17.

The first video clip, taken by the forward-facing camera head aboard the Ebb spacecraft, is made up of 931 individual frames. The second video clip was taken by the rearward-facing camera head. It is comprised of 1498 individual frames.

The playback occurs at six times the rate of the spacecraft’s true orbital motion.
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