Thursday, February 2, 2012

Spacecraft With UC San Diego-manned Cameras Shoots Its First Video of the Far Side of the Moon

NASA's GRAIL spacecraft has shot its first video of the Far Side of the Moon, which the agency released today. The two spacecraft, which have recently been named Ebb and Flow, are equipped with cameras that will be manned by UC San Diego undergraduates, many of them engineering students.

The cameras will allow middle school classrooms to request pictures of the surface of the moon. The requests will come to a mission command center at UC San Diego. The undergraduates will communicate with NASA's mission control and make sure the cameras take the requested pictures. The mission will being in March of this year and last until May.

To get a better understanding of what you're seeing in the video, read the NASA press release here.

The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission isn't just about science outreach. It will measure the gravity of the Earth's satellite in unprecedented detail, according to NASA. It also will answer questions about the moon's internal structure.

The MoonKAM project is led by Sally Ride Science, in collaboration with undergraduates at UC San Diego.
Find out more about MoonKAM here.

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