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.

The timing was set by celestial mechanics, in order to miss eclipses in December and June, scientists say. As of Wednesday, GRAIL-A was 65,860 miles from the moon, with GRAIL-B following behind at 79,540 miles from the moon.

The orbiters are each 3.5 feet high and 2.5 feet deep. They have been traveling since the launch on September 10.

A familiar sight for earthlings as long as humans have roamed the planet, the moon is still mysterious in many ways. We know more about Mars than we do about our own moon, says Maria Zuber, principal investigator for GRAIL. Scientists theorize that the moon formed when a Mars-sized object crashed into Earth, but we know little about this process of the moon being formed.

It remains unknown why the near side of the moon is so different from the far side. The basins are flooded with volcanic material on the near side (which faces us), while the far side has mountainous highlands. Why did these sides evolve differently? "We think the answer is locked in the interior," Zuber said at a NASA news briefing Wednesday.

A study published in the journal Nature over the summer suggested that there may have been a second moon moving at about the same speed as our moon, and in the same orbit. The second moon bumped into the original moon, the theory goes, and caused the formation of a mountain instead of a crater. This model predicts the whole exterior of the moon was once molten and cooled from the outside in such a way that when the second moon hit our moon, it pushed all of that molten material to the near side.

GRAIL can help test this hypothesis. The spacecraft are designed to help scientists explore the interior of the moon indirectly by measuring the pull of gravity as they fly over the surface. With data about these changes in gravity and topography, scientists will be able to construct a map of what's inside our celestial neighbor.

Scientists wanted the spacecraft to be as small as possible so they could launch in one rocket. But they weren't sure if the orbiters would make it through eclipses that happen at the moon every six months, since their technology depends on lithium-ion batteries and solar panels. A lunar eclipse occurred in early December, and the next one is in June. Based on the current performance, scientists think GRAIL can continue through the June eclipse.

Should one of the orbiters completely fail, scientists could not get the high precision they would get from the two spacecraft; the mission depends on having both, Zuber said. If the lunar orbit insertion doesn't happen for one of the spacecraft, there would be another opportunity to try again in late April.

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Filed under: In Space
soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. MKULTRA BRAINCHIPMAN

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    December 29, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  2. B

    Reading some of these comments is a good indicator of why we will more than likely never evolve to a level of understanding the universe. Technology has moved light years ahead of social evolution and may keep us all from achieving our potential goals in the long run.

    The planet is still overrun by very limited minds stuck in the last century..

    December 29, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  3. tracy

    monty python will tell you all about logical positivism that you need to know. I guess those racist skinhead "teachers" had you guys say it over and over so you could pronounce it, but that is evidently all they taught you. Take your meds and go climb back under your rock. we will call you when we have a space under a moon rock for you.

    December 29, 2011 at 10:37 am |
  4. tracy

    To "aryan":
    let's send some nazis since obviously it's more important to know how long the "white race" would survive. To save money we can also use them for heat shields on re-entry. If there is anything left, the "nigras" can sell the remains on E-bay.

    December 29, 2011 at 10:30 am |
  5. tracy

    so, Biff-dude...are you volunteering to catch one of those frags when it comes down, so it does not get all banged up? Science would be grateful.

    December 29, 2011 at 10:24 am |
  6. tracy

    tell you what, aryan. go take your meds and crawl back into your hole. we will call you when we need to hear from an idiot.

    December 29, 2011 at 10:19 am |
  7. louis

    How do all these people find their way to a science blog?

    December 29, 2011 at 8:20 am |
  8. j0eschm0e

    stop trolling aaron

    December 29, 2011 at 7:42 am |
  9. Far Side of the Moon

    The article mentions "It remains unknown why the near side of the moon is so different from the far side."

    I was always under the impression (and not my own theory, mind you) that the far side of the moon, which never faces Earth, is full of craters due to impacts, much more so than the near side of the moon.

    I do not remember reading about temperatures and the possibility of volacinc activity on the far side vs the near side.

    December 29, 2011 at 6:59 am |
  10. j0eschm0e

    sounds to me, that if the landers got there quickly, they would over shoot the orbit. they had to go in very slowly in order to achieve orbit, due to the moons' low gravity.

    December 29, 2011 at 6:59 am |
  11. John Henson

    What took the spacecrafts so long to get there? During Apollo, getting to the moon only took about four days, not three months.

    December 29, 2011 at 5:53 am |
    • Raul

      This is because they were launched with fuel economy in mind. Apollo missions were carrying humans so they needed to get to the moon and out as quickly as possible. So a big and powerful rocket was used.

      December 29, 2011 at 6:13 am |
  12. what??

    ridiculous....if there was no moon then we'd all be dead. do you not understand the lunar influence on the tides alone?? the way our whole world and weather works?? Imagine complete chaos, all life would cease. that's how important the moon is.

    December 29, 2011 at 5:07 am |
  13. SoundGuy

    Explore the sound of the moon: an artist's rendition of the moon's sound based on its rotational frequency (according to Johannes Kepler and Hans Cousto): http://youtu.be/mqGyr7kbPxI

    December 29, 2011 at 4:17 am |
  14. Shoreline Rootz

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBEZ1zukIXQ&w=640&h=390]

    December 29, 2011 at 1:31 am |
  15. djwazu

    If there is a God, He or She put the moon there as a stepping stone for us. The Moon will always be the place we leap into the expense from not Mars, close to home where it's not too far from help if needed. Once we have mastered the Moon environment there will be nothing to keep us from reaching the stars. The future of mankind lies out there in the expense where idiots and dim wits like those who commenting and showing the worst human traits and pettiness on this post have no business being. The meek shall inherit the Earth indeed.

    December 29, 2011 at 1:00 am |
    • D

      i think you mean "expanse" not, "expense". though it will be expensive.
      plus, 'mastering the moon' won't open access to the rest of the galaxy; there's the little problem of the speed of light

      December 29, 2011 at 1:40 am |
  16. SirHippy

    Great idea! Why don't you start working on the screenplay you racist troll!?

    December 29, 2011 at 12:43 am |
  17. Tommie T

    When I was young somebody pointed out to me the Rabbit on the Moon. Who wishes beneficial love go all. Since then the great Mother has ruled my life. On the seas and on land. With father in the Sky.

    December 29, 2011 at 12:20 am |
    • KingHippo

      To Dr. LSD – Greatest Comment Reply Ever!!!
      I don't know if Tommy T is a troll, but your reply was awesome.

      December 29, 2011 at 12:40 am |
    • newt

      Sillie Tommie,
      Rabbits can not live on the moon as the do not eat cheese.

      December 29, 2011 at 12:55 am |
      • tracy

        the rabbit hang out in the same place as the man in the moon and the green cheese and the dragon and saint george and all that. Just the human tendency to make shapes into familiar objects. remember, even "scientists" call the lava flow regions "seas" or maria based on old disproven assumptions. So I hesitate to criticize the ancients who had their own legends since we certainly still have ours.

        December 29, 2011 at 10:23 am |
  18. Wittle Asian

    Awww Biffy. Did you get poked by a wittle Asian when you were young?

    December 28, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
  19. Michael

    hilarious how they pretend to "not know" whats going on up there..... JPL bunch of lying mothers....

    December 28, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • Hippster

      So Michael – what is it that they're hiding?
      Please explain further. I'm very interested in your ideas about the great NASA moon conspiracy!

      December 29, 2011 at 12:46 am |
      • Michael

        I tried to post this earlier but see no result of that effort, so here goes again:

        Just read up on the credentials and what Ken Johnston former NASA employee has to say about the pictures that came back from the moon. The pictures he was responsible for filing and or destroying. He says alot about what the moon pictures showed that was up there. Everything from Glass Domes to Alien bases .... as well that we were told not to return to the moon after the last Appollo mission even though the next two missions had already been paid for. But I guess you know more than a NASA employee who saw the pictures?

        December 29, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
    • j0eschm0e

      if u get out your high powered telescope, you might see the station on the moon already, been there for years. how many trips to the space station do you really think they needed to do with the space shuttles?. they were actually cargoing to and from. just something else for you to think about there michael....(as he goes right out and buys a high powered telescope.)lol

      December 29, 2011 at 7:35 am |
  20. J Knope

    Aryan, Please crawl back into the hole you crawled out from. You have no right to life.

    December 28, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
  21. Maty

    Go Grail-B! Love an underdog.

    December 28, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
  22. wpgguy

    I hate it when skinheads pretend to be ignorant black guys

    December 28, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
  23. Caosscream

    Quick to judge, quick to anger, but slow to understand: ignorance, prejudice, and fear walk hand in hand...Peart (Part III of Fear, 1981)

    December 28, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • Hippster

      Aaron, I don't get it? How can you even get the Rush reference without being a fan and then go and be a hater like that?

      December 29, 2011 at 12:51 am |
    • j0eschm0e

      wow aaron you must be on the same drugs as michael, because that paragraph made no sense at all lm ao

      December 29, 2011 at 7:39 am |
  24. midogs2

    With how much oxygen?............Fool!

    December 28, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
  25. Mark

    Bill, I pity the world you live in. It must be very dark and full of scary shadows...

    December 28, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
  26. Open Mind

    Probably the same amount of time it takes a skinhead idiot to sufficate. In the infamous words of Bugs Bunny..."What a maroon!"

    December 28, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
  27. mrhapiguy

    So will these orbiters show us the alien base hiding on the dark side?

    December 28, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • john lenard walston

      if they found a base, would they tell anybody?

      December 29, 2011 at 1:17 am |
    • Derka Derr

      Here we go again.

      December 29, 2011 at 1:38 am |
  28. Deep North

    Where'd that come from?

    December 28, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
  29. Dreamer

    I'm glad I'm not so analytical, scientific, skeptical, realistic, etc.. Just admire the beauty of the moon and dream. Someday I believe I will go. 🙂 Happy New Year!

    December 28, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
  30. Michael J.

    You're a moron.

    December 28, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
  31. Kevin

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kn-rkQYoPuI&w=640&h=390]

    December 28, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
  32. angryoldguy

    Why does a site like Light years attract idiots, lunatics, trolls and others who have absolutely nothing at all to contribute to a rational dialog of scientific investigation? Do you weirdos feel compelled to rush to every subject of scientific inquiry to try and ruin it with your ridiculous rantings? Why are you so threatened by science? If you do not "believe" in science, why do you pay it any mind at all? Why the desperate need to discredit that which you do not "believe" in? Afraid that the world may in fact NOT be flat after all? EEK!

    December 28, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • Bill

      There is no rational or scientific community here. Just religious faithful community that believes in NASA!

      Seriously, you guys just attack anyone that doesn't immediately fall in line with your theories that man went to the moon based on the TV production you watched. You believe the explanations given to you by NASA for this or that question that arises about their alleged missions. Not everyone shares your faith.

      December 28, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
      • DrTDWood

        Wow, Bill you would fail our courses in critical thinking. Please explain the Galileo feather/hammer experiment, esp the lower RATE of falling which cannot be explained by an Earth based "stage" nor a low-Earth orbit. You conspiracy theorists can never stand to actual science or scientists, of which I am one. Further, if you want to continue on this ridiculous premise, deal with Apollo 13....did that not happen? And the geopolitical situation of the day would have had the Soviets and Chinese both claiming a fabrication, when in fact they do not. Let alone all the mirrors which they placed on the moon which still can be used to measure the distance to the moon. For you to call others irrational is in fact quite irrational.

        December 28, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
      • JT

        You Christian fanatical nutbags question everything to do with science but believe in talking snakes, zombies, ark theory, that spirits talk to you, etc. Perhaps you should put down your bybull for a moment and crack open a 2nd grade science text book and try and come out of the dark ages.

        December 28, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
      • DrTDWood

        Besides, they have brought back the rocks and dust from the moon and done elemental and surface analysis of their composition, which although there are many similarities there are some significant differences as well. I know what my colleagues George Morrison and Allan Cadenhead did, and I've seen the lunar material....the feds temporarily withheld federal funding to our university til they got their moon dust back. One of the greatest human achievements, one that gave billions hope that we are capable of more (though it is clear we have regressed!) and you continue to doubt in spite of overwhelming evidence. Skepticism is healthy, but refusual to acknowledge legitimate evidence is NOT rational. I find 9/11 truthers and deniers of OBL's death equally as "far out."

        December 28, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
    • clearfog

      People who are not too smart usually resort to scatological humor at the first opportunity.

      December 29, 2011 at 4:21 am |
  33. david reitter

    when we landed on the " MOON" in 1969, we should stay on the MOON. (instead of the time with the SPACESTATION) They nothing of the MOON ! There are alot of things to be discovered on the MOON. A STRUCTURE FOR STUDY AND LIVING COULD BE BEEN BUILT UNDER GROUND TO WITHSTAND METEORITES . PEOPLE WILL EVENTUALLY BE LIVING ON THE MOON THEIR WASTING TIME WITH VENTURES OUT OF REACH OF CONCEPT

    December 28, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Dan Sutton

      Let's see – you can't spell or express yourself properly, but somehow you believe you're right. You must be an American. Oh – what's an "alot"?

      December 28, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
      • midogs2

        You could have been much crueler, Dan. Your patience is well noted.

        December 28, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
      • Dean

        Funny!

        December 28, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
    • sybaris

      Christ on a stick!

      Did you even GO to school?

      December 28, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
      • midogs2

        This one must have learned cap lock, and lower case somwhere. One would think it had something to do with school!

        December 28, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
      • newt

        So that's what those vendors are grilling on every street corner in NYC!

        December 29, 2011 at 1:05 am |
  34. Jon

    "The second moon bumped into the original moon" So the one we have now is a second-hand item? I wonder what the original moon looked like.
    CNN, get rid of the picture of the guy playing superman. That got old a long time ago.

    December 28, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • Jason

      I looked a short article on the Nasa website since this is the first time I have heard about this theory. From what they are saying, the second moon was about a third the size of the first.
      Here's the link, go check it out.
      http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/07sep_twomoons/
      I'm going to have to read up on this whole thing some more!!! It's pretty exciting stuff that we can actually DO what these spacecraft are helping us do!

      December 29, 2011 at 3:41 am |
  35. Daws

    Samba is a white troll, happy for the Christmas break, but bummed that he has to go back to high school next month😛

    December 28, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • iBod

      Daws..............I don't think he made it to high school.

      December 28, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
      • gstlab3

        I AINT GOT NO SCHOOLING MAN.,

        THEY GRADUATED ME TO GET ME OUT OF THEIR HAIR!!!!!

        I DID'NT LET THEIR GOVERNMENT SCHOOLING GET IN THE WAY OF MY LEARNING ABOUT THINGS EITHER.

        I BET YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE FREE AND HAVE LIBERTY WHEN IN FACT YOU ARE NOT AT ALL AT LIBERTY OR FREE WHEN YOU AND THESE OTHERS FINALLY REALIZE THAT IF YOU DO'NT PAY YOUR TAXES ON YOURILLEGALLY HOME AND CAR OR ARE YOU ALLOWED TO KEEP ALL THAT MONEY FROM YOUR OWN PAYCHECK YOU EARNED??

        YOU CAN GO TO PRISON AND OR HAVE ALL YOUR ASSETS SEIZED AND SOLD AT AUCTION TO PAY THIS FALSE AND ILLEGAL DEBT.

        December 28, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
    • Dean

      Sambo X... Hope you're having fun man! That's what's up!

      December 28, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
  36. Bill

    God.. you guys are hopeless..

    Budget! Russians! Too many people to keep it a secret! Same crap over and over again.

    Look, if you want to believe the early Apollo missions went to the moon, then have a ball. It's not my business to get in between people and their faith. Unfortunately for you Moon-Landing Believers, that's what it comes down to, is faith. You get fed all these "explanations" for why a hoax would be impossible, and you swallow 'em right up.

    Russians? God, how many times have I heard that one parroted around. Look, you don't know the mindset of Russian Military Intelligence, as much as you'd love to think you do. For all you know, the Russian and American Space programs could have been working together since Day One. Oh Yea, Must be pure happenstance that USA and Russia made up and are now sharing resources for their outer space efforts...

    lol... use some skepticism for once in your lives.

    December 28, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • Bill

      I'm making arguments.

      You're calling names.

      I think it's obvious who the troll is.

      December 28, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
      • HippysRule

        I can not believe a simple article like this has attracted so much trolling! And Bill, I'm sorry, but the academy has unanimously selected you as the ultimate troll of this comment page. As the commenter "troll" himself said, your technique still needs to be refined, but you definitely are a trolling madman! Congratulations!

        December 29, 2011 at 1:00 am |
    • iBod

      I absolutely despise people like you who refuse to believe the truth. I bet you believe in the Second Coming? Or how about the 2012 Apocalypse?
      I know people like you. People like you are afraid of the future. Your assumption is based on, this couldn't possibly happen because we just aren't capable.

      When you are long and gone, people like you won't be remembered, nor will they be missed, because your inaccurate statements is what holds our species back.

      December 28, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
      • Spock

        iBod don't worry about it many many millions are sheep like you and believe all they see and are told. Moon landing was real maybe my cousins brother's coworker saw the American flag and foot steps once via telescope. Hey did we go into Iraq for A. because Exxon Mobil told us to B. To assist helpless people or C. Remove a Big Bad Guy.

        December 28, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • LT

      Anyone can see the moon with their naked eye, so it shouldn't take a genius to analyze that it's possible to witness the moon landing with high-powered telescopes, without NASA or the US government. Which is exactly what happened, research Third-party evidence for Apollo Moon landings and enlighten yourself.

      December 28, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
      • Andrew

        Not exactly true, high powered telescopes do not have the resolution to see fine detail on the moon, like the lander or the rover. We do have those pictures, but it is because of a recent lunar orbiter with high resolution cameras, not a high powered telescope.

        It's a simple problem of optics, the distance between the earth and the moon is so large that you would need a telescope with orders of magnitude wider apertures than we currently have on earth.

        December 28, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
      • LT

        An article in the March 1969 issue of Sky & Telescope contained many reports of optical tracking of Apollo 8.

        December 28, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
      • LT

        "At Jodrell Bank Observatory in the UK, the telescope was used to observe the mission, as it was used years previously for Sputnik.[33] At the same time, Jodrell Bank scientists were tracking the unmanned Soviet spacecraft Luna 15, which was trying to land on the Moon. In July 2009, Jodrell released some recordings they made."

        "The 2.1m Struve telescope at McDonald, from 01:50-2:37 UT, observed the brightest object flashing as bright as magnitude 15, with the flash pattern recurring about once a minute"

        "Dr. Michael Moutsoulas at Pic du Midi reported an initial sighting around 17:10 UT on December 21 with the 1.1-metre reflector as an object (magnitude near 10, through clouds) moving eastward near the predicted location of Apollo 8. He used a 60-cm refractor telescope to observe a cluster of objects which were obscured by the appearance of a nebulous cloud at a time which matches a firing of the service module engine to assure adequate separation from the S-IVB. This event can be traced with the Apollo 8 Flight Journal, noting that launch was at 0751 EST or 12:51 UT on December 21"

        December 28, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
      • Andrew

        I'd like a source on that because frankly, I'm not sure how that's possible, though I suppose I'm not very well versed on the optics of telescope arrays, so it is conceivable. Still, optically resolving an image that far away sounds like a highly tall order, especially for 1969 technology. So I'd love a citation.
        (PS, sky and telescope magazine is amazing, their sky chart is one of my favourite resources)

        December 28, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
      • Andrew

        Ah, so that's how they did it. It's not that the objects were fully resolved, it's that they were able to make the object bright, so even if you're looking at essentially a pixel, you know what the pixel is.

        December 28, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
      • LT

        March 1969 issue of Sky and Telescope, "Optical Observations of Apollo 8" by Harold B. Liemon (Geo-Astrophysics Laboratory, Boeing Scientific Research Laboratories), pp. 156-160

        http://www.astr.ua.edu/keel/space/apollo.html for more information with pictures

        December 28, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
      • Andrew

        Cool, thanks LT!

        December 28, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • James

      I wonder what the 'Mars Budget' will be and what they will feed us as to why we need to be there.

      December 28, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • Bill

      iBod, you're the one preaching your faith here, not me. You look up to NASA like the most hardened disciple looks up to his priest. If there were only people like you out there, NASA wouldn't even have to TRY to prove something to you. You'd believe every word the second it escaped their lips.

      Don't get me wrong. I appreciate the intellect behind NASA. I give them plenty of credit for how they've managed to drag this silly hoax on for so long.

      December 28, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
      • Chris Synfield

        It used to be to the credit of the human race that your kind of stupidity was rare – sadly, its no longer true, if it ever was. NASA managed to fake six moon landings, between the years 1969 & 1972, eh? Despite the fact that Earth based telescopes could follow the mission in its entirety. I'll bet you think Big Bird is a real, talking tower of poultry. Get on your devalued soap box and scream to the world that the stars and sun rotate around the Earth, which of course is flat in your world. Like your head.

        December 28, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • george

      Use some skepticism for once in our lives? Why? Look where it got you. A regular conspiracy theorist you are.

      December 28, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • JohnK

      Bill, I know where the moon rocks came from – your head!

      December 28, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • Jon

      But isn't your belief a matter of faith? How can you prove we didn't land on the moon?

      December 28, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • Chris

      And here I thought moon nutters where in the decline. Tug that tin foil down your ears are showing.

      December 28, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
  37. Bill

    Andrew, believe what you want, what ever makes you sleep warm and snugly at night. But think about this NASA and the Russians had Millions of dollars coming in to their budgets. All that money would have evaporated if it came out that the moon landing was a fake. That my friend is incentive for NASA, Russia and all the management and politicians supporting them. Just follow the MONEY it will lead you a truth all the time weather you are looking at Moon landings, Wall Street bail outs, FDA drug approvals or 911

    December 28, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • iBod

      Well, you can't stop a moron from being a moron.

      December 28, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • Robo rob

      Whether not weather...

      December 28, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Daws

      It also wouldn't come out that it was fake if...it wasn't fake >.< These "it was fake" claims have long been debunked by multiple sources. See what actual scientists have to say about the matter rather than basement crackpots and game show hosts. For popular media sources watch the Mythbusters episode on it or Penn & Tellers episode on it... check Phil Plait's Discovery blog. Anything but a lame "special" by fox run 10+ years ago...

      December 28, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
      • Andrew

        These people don't care about evidence. They say "follow the money" but really what they mean is "if I can think of a financial reason why they'd possibly be motivated to fake the thing, then I can clearly declare it is fake based on financial reasons alone, regardless of what other independent evidence confirms it is real"

        They will reject any evidence, be it retroreflecters on the moon, the fact that the Russians themselves were tracking the project, the fact that no one has come out to expose the lie despite the seeming massive coverup required, the fact that we actually have pictures of the landers and tracks on the moon, etc in favor of "it MUST be a lie because there is the potential for someone to have made money by it being a lie"

        There is no evidence in favor of it being a hoax... just that they like to pretend they've figured it all out, while rejecting all evidence as fabrication.

        December 28, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • Bill

      Daws says "Watch cable TV for your answers!" ... rolling eyes.. Mythbusters and friends cherrypick strawman hoax-claims every time. And that proves to the sheep that something has been "debunked"... Yawn.

      Here's a question.. Do you honestly believe Mythbusters would EVER run and conclude an episode supporting the moon-landing hoax claim, whether it was a hoax or not? Lets see how naive you are....

      December 28, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
      • Jon

        I seriously doubit they would end a show saying it was a hoax if they found it wasn't. And if they found it was... Think of how that would raise their ratings!

        December 28, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • Chris Synfield

      This just in; according to Bill, Elvis is alive and living in Kalamazoo, MI!
      President Obama started the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan!
      Cigarettes don't cause cancer!
      Hitler didn't really kill six million Jews; he merely frightened a few.
      America winning WWII was a hoax!!!
      The Queen of England killed Princess Di!!!!!

      And he can prove it!! Holy $#!+ !!!!!!

      December 28, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • Chris

      Wow – your are nuts. Sucks to be you.

      December 28, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
  38. iBod

    Man went to the Moon and Man walked on the Moon. The invalid arguments against such are getting really old and really annoying.

    December 28, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • iBod

      Says the guy who cannot spell.

      December 28, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • iBod

      Wow, if you thought "cracka" was the only thing I was referring to....
      Try, "yu," "no," "Wuz," "yu," "yo," and "cracka." On top of the spelling errors, your grammar is terrible.

      God, the reason you don't even believe we went to the moon is because you didn't even have an education!

      December 28, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • Daws

      T-R-O-L-L spell troll!

      December 28, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  39. Bill

    Jake, once the space craft lifts off.. how many people actually knows where it is vs are told where it is. That is how it is done. All it takes is a few to mislead many...

    December 28, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • Daws

      Yeah if only there were people in the spaceships that you could ask...

      December 28, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • Andrew

      The Bochum Observatory (then controlled by the Russians) was monitoring the Apollo 11 flight. So... are the Russians also part of the conspiracy to make it seem like the US arrived there first?

      And why did we go back so many more times? I never really got that... if it's a conspiracy, why keep doing it over and over.

      Oh, and what about those pictures the Lunar orbiter recently took actually showing the lander, rover, and tracks? Also "more NASA lying"? Really just how massive is this conspiracy you've constructed in your head?

      December 28, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • Frequent ISS observer

      It's really a matter of info. There are various websites that help you track satellites and other orbiting objects. Just a click on the website, get some info on when and where to look, and presto.

      Granted, the website did not exist forty years ago, but the principle is pretty much the same. Project a trajectory, and look in that general direction.

      December 29, 2011 at 7:04 am |
  40. Tom

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5X4N2exOsU&w=640&h=390]

    December 28, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  41. Deep North

    We know more about Mars than we do about our own moon, says Maria Zuber, principal investigator for GRAIL...That statement make no scientific sense, considering that we have supposed to have walked on the lunar surface several times!

    December 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Bill

      The moon landing was a hoax. That's also why man hasn't been more than a few hundred miles out into space in forty years, when we supposedly traveled 230,000 miles there and back in the 60's.. Give me a break. I can hear the NASA shills already...

      December 28, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
      • Jake Sokalski

        Actually, considering the amount of missions sent to the Moon vs. Mars, it makes sense. Many of the moon missions were sent in the 60s and before, while Mars has been researched ever since. So with newer technology, it makes sense why we would know more about Mars.
        And Bill...yeah. We never went to the moon. And somehow all the thousands of people managed to keep it a secret. We went to the moon, no doubt about it. It takes a lot of money and time to launch people that far out. And if we aren't going to commit all the money to build bases there and keep people there, why just go for a few days? Damn crazy idiots, We didn't go to the moon. bulls•it.

        December 28, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
      • Richard

        Seek help, soon.

        December 28, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
      • Andrew

        Jake, only two of the landings were in the 1960s, remember Apollo 11 was in 1969. It was just Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 which landed during the 1960s.

        December 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
      • Chris

        Bill, you're an idiot.

        December 28, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
      • wpgguy

        Are you an idiot or a novice troll?

        December 28, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
    • Andrew

      It doesn't seem that far-fetched. We've send more high precision orbiters and rovers to Mars than we have the moon. Sure, we visited the moon, but remember that was all done well before we had a lot of the technology we do now in order to conduct research. Mars however has had some very successful long term surveying projects, I could easily buy we know more about Mars than our own moon.

      As for you, Bill, the you're kinda a m- ron. Yes, they flew a tin can out to the moon with rather primitive technology to the moon back in 1969 and the early 70s. It's amazing what you can accomplish by throwing money at NASA's budget. However, since then, NASA's budget has been slashed over and over and over, and while the technology we first used was fairly cheap, updates to that technology would not be, so why do we need more manned missions to the moon?

      It's a strange conspiracy, even the Russians would need to be in on it. Conspiracy theorists are weird.

      December 28, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
      • Andrew

        Uhh, I didn't have to worry about people doing stuff to me back in elementary school, I was lucky enough to grow up in an area where nerds were cool... mostly because all of our parents were well educated and I was incredibly privileged. I recognise that.

        And, I've taken my privileged and become a physics major. Why should I care if I'm called a nerd? Especially since nerds tend to get paid more.

        December 28, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • Deep North

      Still does not make sense. All we have ever received from Mars is telemetry. We still have actual moon rocks for study. How can physical evidence bet lesser than an electronic signal?

      December 28, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
      • Andrew

        Deep, because the Mars landers can also obtain physical information from martian rocks, it has three onboard spectrometers, meaning the lander itself is capable of measuring the composition, study the formation, and preform detailed analysis on martian rocks while on the martian surface that was not possible with the moon landings. So we brought rocks back with us from the moon, but we effectively preform the same analysis on moon rocks here on earth as the mars landers preform on rocks while on the martian surface.

        Did you really think all the lander does is take pretty pictures?

        December 28, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • Chris

      Deep North. We've done much more science with the rovers than we could ever have done with the Apollo missions. Please read just a bit and educate yourself.

      December 28, 2011 at 7:49 pm |

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