Tuesday, September 20, 2011

GRAIL NASA Tweetup Part VIII-The Science

During the presentations the science and engineering of the GRAIL mission was presented. The main GRAIL craft in tandemmission is to determine what the interior of the moon is made up of. The scientists have come up with a method of measuring the gravitation field of the moon by utilizing two satellites orbiting it. While they orbit they will be measuring minute differences in the gravitation field over 3 months. If you want more information you really should check out the mission website.

The reason scientists haven’t been able to figure out the interior of the moon is because the moon rotates at the same rate as it rotates around the Earth. This means that from Earth we can only see one side of the moon. Without being able to see the other side we cannot perform the measurements necessary to determine the composition of the moon.

The coolest part of the mission has to be the Moon KAM. It lets classes schedule missions to take pictures of the moon. All you need to do is convince your son or daughter’s teacher to participate. Participating is easy via the Moon KAM website.

Presentations where also given by ULA and Lockheed Martin regarding some of the facts of the rocket and satellites as well as answering questions from the crowd.

A cool presentation was the Eyes on the Solar System. The Eyes on the Solar System lets you observe the universe and nearly all of the manmade objects launched from Earth. It’s a web only service at the moment and lets you go to any point in the universe and see the space missions at different speeds. Definitely something you should check out when you have time.

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