Holy GRAIL! Photos From NASA's Moon Gravity Mission

Grail Spacecraft Captures Lunar Far Side for MoonKAM Project


This image of the far side of the lunar surface, with Earth in the background, was taken by the MoonKAM system board the Ebb spacecraft as part of the first image set taken from lunar orbit from March 15 to 18, 2012. [Full Story]

MoonKAM Project - Far Side of Lunar Surface


This image of the lunar surface was taken by the MoonKAM system onboard the Ebb spacecraft on March 15, 2012. The 42.3-mile-wide (68-kilometer-wide) crater in the middle of the image (with the smaller crater inside) is Poinsot. Crater Poinsot, named for the French mathematician Louis Poinsot, is located on the northern part of the moon's far side. [Full Story]

MoonKAM: The Universe's First Student-Run Planetary Camera


This infographic explains how students take pictures from lunar orbit using the Grail mission’s MoonKAM.

Grail Photo of Dark Side of the Moon


One of NASA's twin Grail spacecraft has returned its first unique picture of the far side of the moon, an image that shows shadowed craters at the moon's south pole.

Illustration of the Moon's Interior


An artist's concept of the moon's interior. NASA's twin GRAIL probes will gather data that should help scientists better understand the moon's composition and evolution.

Grail Formation Flyers


Using a precision formation-flying technique, the twin Grail spacecraft will map the moon's gravity field, as depicted in this artist's rendering. Radio signals traveling between the two spacecraft provide scientists the exact measurements required as well as flow of information not interrupted when the spacecraft are at the lunar farside, not seen from Earth. The result should be the most accurate gravity map of the moon ever made.

Grail Launches with Tower on the Left

NASA/Kenny Allen

At ignition, flames and smoke from the engines begin liftoff of the Delta 2 Heavy rocket taking NASA's twin Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission to the moon from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. At left stands the pad's mobile service tower.

Grail-A Moon Probe in Space


This view of NASA's Grail-A spacecraft (top) shows the moon gravity probe just before it separated from its Delta 2 rocket high above Earth after a successful launch on Sept. 10, 2011. Grail-A is one of two twin spacecraft to study the moon's gravity in unprecedented detail.

GRAIL Inside Payload Fairing

NASA/Jim Grossmann

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.

Grail Moon Orbiter Illustration

Lockheed Martin

Artist's concept of the two Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft orbiting the moon. NASA launched the twin probes in September 2011 to study the moon's gravitational field in unprecedented detail.

GRAIL Arrives at the Launch Pad

NASA/Kim Shiflett

In the predawn light of August 18, 2011, NASA's twin Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft arrive at at Space Launch Complex 17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

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