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Twin Probes Impacted Moon; Impact Named for Sally Ride

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Twin Probes Impacted Moon; Impact Named for Sally Ride

Postby laconte » Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:17 pm

In December, one of NASA's missions to the Moon came to a spectacular (and planned) end. Ebb and Flow, the two spacecraft comprising NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, were commanded to descend into a lower orbit that would resulted in an impact on a mountain near the moon's north pole. The site of the impact was named the Sally K. Ride Impact Site in honor of the late astronaut, Sally K. Ride, who was America's first woman in space and a member of the probes' mission team.

Launched in September 2011, Ebb and Flow had been orbiting the moon since Jan. 1, 2012. The probes intentionally were sent into the lunar surface because they did not have sufficient altitude or fuel to continue science operations. Their successful prime and extended science missions generated the highest resolution gravity field map of any celestial body. The map will provide a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed and evolved.

In addition to an impact site on the Moon, Ms. Ride's legacy lives on in her non-fiction books for children...many of which are listed in the resource lists of Explore modules (for example, Mission: Save the Planet: Things YOU Can Do to Help Fight Global Warming!).

Modified from NASA press release 12-438.
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