NASA to Provide Dec. 17 Commentary as Twin Probes End Lunar Mission


PASADENA, Calif. - NASA will provide live commentary of the scheduled lunar surface impacts of its twin Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft beginning at 2 p.m. PST (5 p.m. EST) Monday, Dec. 17. The event will be broadcast on NASA Television and streamed on the agency's website.

The two probes will hit a mountain near the lunar north pole at approximately 2:28 p.m. PST Monday, bringing their successful prime and extended science missions to an end.

Commentary will originate from the control room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Coverage will last about 35 minutes and include live interviews with GRAIL team members. GRAIL's final resting place on the moon will be in shadow at the time of impact, so no video documentation of the impacts is expected.

Data from the GRAIL twins are allowing scientists to learn about the moon's internal structure and composition in unprecedented detail. The two probes are being sent purposely into the moon because they do not have enough altitude or fuel to continue science operations.

Media wishing to cover the end of the GRAIL mission at JPL, where they will have the opportunity to conduct interviews and watch a live feed from mission control, must contact the JPL Media Relations Office at 818-354-5011 by 11 a.m. PST Dec. 17. Valid media credentials are required. Non-U.S. citizens also must present valid passports.

For NASA TV streaming video, schedule and downlink information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv . The coverage will also be streamed live on Ustream at: http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2 .

Join the conversation on Twitter by following the hashtag #GRAIL. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/connect .

For the mission's press kit and other information about GRAIL, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/grail . You can follow JPL News on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/nasajpl and on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/nasajpl .

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