Encyclopedia of Lunar Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Brian Cudnik

GRAIL Mission

  • Alexander J. Evans
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-05546-6_120-1

Overview

The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) was a lunar gravity mapping mission led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and managed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). GRAIL was the eleventh mission of NASA’s Solar System Exploration Discovery Program. The GRAIL mission flew high-precision instrumentation onboard twin spacecraft, dubbed Ebb and Flow, which orbited the Moon in tandem to measure and map variations in the lunar gravitational field. The data collected by the GRAIL spacecraft were used to construct high-resolution lunar gravitational maps, the highest resolution of any celestial body, including Earth. The high precision and accuracy of the gravitational measurements allowed the GRAIL mission to make fundamental contributions to understanding the internal structure and thermal evolution of the Moon.

The GRAIL spacecraft were operational at the Moon between December 31, 2011, and...

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Notes

Acknowledgments

The author thanks Maria T. Zuber for providing GRAIL mission information and data that were used in the preparation of this document.

References

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lunar and Planetary LaboratoryUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA