Tuesday, September 6, 2011

GRAIL Lunar Mission Set To Liftoff Thursday

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA's GRAIL spacecraft is set to launch to the moon aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket on Sept. 8, 2011 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Fla.

There are two instantaneous (1 sec.) launch windows at 8:37:06 a.m. and 9:16:12 a.m. EDT.  The launch period, the last for Delta IIs at the Cape, extends through Oct. 19.  The launch times occur approximately four minutes earlier each day.

GRAIL's primary science objectives are to determine the structure of the lunar interior, from crust to core, and to advance understanding of the thermal evolution of the moon.