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Photos: NASA Launches Twin Grail Gravity Probes to the Moon

How NASA's GRAIL Probes Will Map the Moon's Gravity (Infographic)

Karl Tate, SPACE.com

Infographic shows how GRAIL mission maps the moon's gravity field

Grail Mission's Delta 2 Rocket Poised for New Launch Try

NASA TV

This still from a NASA broadcast shows the Delta 2 rocket carrying NASA's twin Grail moon gravity probes on Sept. 10, just one hour away from a morning launch attempt - the second liftoff try for the mission.

Grail Attempts to Launch

NASA TV

NASA's twin Grail spacecraft inside the Delta 2 rocket stand ready to launch on September 8, 2011, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on their mission to study the moon..

Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) Spacecraft

Alan Walters/awaltersphoto.com

The twin Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft are mirror images of one another. The probes will orbit the moon and take detailed measurements of the lunar gravity field.

Grail About to Launch

NASA TV

The Delta 2 heavy rocket carrying the twin GRAIL spacecraft stands on the launch pad just about to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on September 8, 2011.

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.

Sunrise Over Grail's Delta 2 Rocket

NASA TV

Dawn breaks over Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station as an unmanned Delta 2 rocket stands poised to launch NASA's twin Grail lunar gravity probes toward the moon on Sept. 8, 2011.

NASA/Jim Grossmann

NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, or GRAIL, spacecraft logo is emblazoned on the first stage of a United Launch Alliance Delta II launch vehicle, now secured in the gantry at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 17B.

Delta 2 Rocket Packed With NASA's Grail Twins

NASA TV

A United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket stands poised to launch NASA's Grail moon gravity probes from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Sept. 8, 2011. The $496 million Grail mission will map the moon's gravity in unprecedented detail.

Grail Mission's Delta 2 Rocket Poised for Blast Off

Thom Baur, United Launch Alliance.

A United Launch Alliance Delta 2 stands ready for launch at Space Launch Complex-17B with NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft. Launch is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 8 at 8:37:06 a.m. EDT.

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