GRAIL to reach lunar orbit for new year
Although the moon is familiar to everyone on the planet, there's still a lot we don't know about it.
December 28th, 2011
04:43 PM ET

GRAIL to reach lunar orbit for new year

NASA is kicking off the new year by getting twin spacecraft into lunar orbit this weekend.

GRAIL, which stands for Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory, is a set of two orbiters that launched on September 10. GRAIL-A will get to its destination of circling the moon on the afternoon of December 31, with GRAIL-B following the next day at 5:05 p.m. ET.

They will arrive about 25 hours apart, giving breathing room in between these important milestones, says GRAIL project manager David Lehman.

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