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Moon gravity mappers have entered orbit

As the new year dawned the second of NASA’s twin gravity probes entered orbit around our moon.

GRAIL-B joined its twin GRAIL-A, which performed the same manoeuvre just hours earlier (press release). Together the two craft will produce an incredibly detailed picture of the Moon’s gravity.

Before the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory probes launched last year the principal investigator on the project told Nature’s Eric Hand that the mapping would allow researchers to discover whether the body has a liquid core, as well as teasing out the structure of its giant impact basins.

“I think we’re going to find something quite surprising,” said Maria Zuber (see: Twins to probe Moon’s heart).

The next major milestone in the project is also due imminently – the spacecraft will get new names later this month.


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