Tuesday, January 3, 2012

NASA GRAIL Mission


NASA announced that their two GRAIL spacecraft are in orbit around the Moon as planned.  The two spacecraft will measure small changes in distance between them as they orbit.  These small changes will correspond to slight changes in speed as they are affected by very small changes in Moon's gravitational field.  
Additionally and potentially more exciting to the kids here on Earth is the GRAIL MoonKAM, or Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students.  The MoonKAM project, headed by astronaut Sally Ride in cooperation with UC San Diego, will allow 5th to 8th graders to select areas on the Lunar surface to aim a small camera.  They will then receive their photos from the spacecraft for further study.  Sounds like a lot of fun.

Read more here.