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Space Trash: NASA Satellite Falls to Earth
NASA’s Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23, and 1:09 a.m. EDT Sept. 24. The Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California said the satellite penetrated the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. The precise re-entry time and location are not yet known with certainty.
1. What does Grail stand for?
2. On what launch vehicle will GRAIL be sent to Space?
Asteroid Passes Earth
A huge asteroid past closer to Earth than the moon on Tuesday evening. The 1,300-foot-wide asteroid, known as 2005 YU55, posed no hazard. It was the first time since 1976 that an asteroid has come so close to Earth and the first time astronomers have ever had this much advance notice.
Now that the GRAIL mission
is underway, the two robotic spacecraft, currently dubbed
"GRAIL-A" and "GRAIL-B," need real names -- ones that capture
the spirit and excitement of lunar exploration. Students, choose
names for the two GRAIL spacecraft and explain your choice.
Your justification can be any length, from a short paragraph to a 500-word essay.
The Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission is designed to create a gravity map of the moon, using two spacecraft that orbit the moon at very precise distances. The mission will enable scientists to learn about the moon's internal structure and composition, and give scientists a better understanding of the moon's origin. Accurate knowledge of the moon's gravity could also be used to help choose future landing sites on the moon.
GRAIL's student-run MoonKAM
cameras will provide close-up views of the lunarsurface, taking
tens of thousands of images and sending them back to Earth.
Contest Deadline is: Friday, Nov. 11, 2011.
ATTENTION: STUDENTS AND TEACHERS
The student GRAIL naming contest that began in October 2011 will choose new names for the GRAIL spacecraft. The new names are scheduled to be announced in January 2012. Sally Ride and Maria Zuber, the mission's principal investigator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, chaired the final round of judging.
Did you know: NASA GRAIL Satellites took launched 112 days to enter moon orbit.
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Updated: Saturday 23rd, February, 2013