NASA’s Concept of the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory

This NASA artist’s concept shows the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission’s twin spacecraft in orbit around the moon. The GRAIL mission will fly the spacecraft, in the same orbit, over areas of greater and lesser gravity, caused both by visible features such as mountains and craters and by masses hidden beneath the lunar surface, they will move slightly toward and away from each other. An instrument aboard each spacecraft will measure the changes in their relative velocity very precisely, and scientists will translate this information into a high-resolution map of the moon’s gravitational field. The mission is scheduled to launch on September 8, 2011. (REUTERS / NASA / JPL)


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