This video features the final, breathtaking footage from the successful GRAIL moon mission, that was taken just six miles (10 kilometers) above the moon's surface on December 14, 2012, 3 days before the planned crash landing.
The video starts with the View from the Far Side of the Moon, continues with a flyover of the lunar surface and in the end it shows several maps derived using gravity data by the mission itself.
The original footage (shot in a 3:4 format) has been reworked to better enjoy the flyover (and gravity's research) feeling
music: Augustus Bro and Gallery Six - Buildings Stays Offshore
For nearly a year, a pair of small identical science satellites have been circling the moon, enabling scientists to piece together detailed gravity maps showing what is beneath the battered lunar surface.
That mission came to an end on Dec. 17 - 2012 when the probes, nicknamed Ebb and Flow, flew themselves into a mountain near the moon's northern pole, a dramatic, but planned finale to a successful year-long mission.
Three days prior to its planned impact on a lunar mountain, mission controllers activated the camera aboard one of NASA's GRAIL twins to take some final photos from lunar orbit.
GRAIL = Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory
GRAIL's gravity measurements reveal information about the internal structure of the Moon, improving our understanding of the origin and development of not just the Moon, but also the Earth and the rest of the inner solar system.
View from the Far Side of the Moon
MoonKAM imagery taken Jan. 19, 2012 by GRAIL'S Ebb spacecraft
Parting Moon Shots from NASA's GRAIL Mission
This video of the moon was taken by the NASA GRAIL mission's MoonKAM (Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students) camera aboard the Ebb spacecraft on Dec. 14, 2012. At the time the images were taken, the spacecraft was about 6 miles (10 kilometers) above the northern hemisphere of the moon's far side, in the vicinity of the Jackson impact crater. This imagery was acquired as part of a final checkout of spacecraft equipment prior to its planned impact on a mountain near the moon's north pole on Dec. 17. The first video clip, taken by the forward-facing camera head aboard the Ebb spacecraft, is made up of 931 individual frames.
The second video clip was taken by the rearward-facing camera head. It is comprised of 1498 individual frames.
The playback occurs at six times the rate of the spacecraft's true orbital motion.
NASA Shows Moon Rotating - Mapped by Gravity - Mapped by Topography
Side-by-side rotating Moon globes showing LOLA elevation and GRAIL free-air gravity.
Bouguer Gravity Moon Map
This movie shows the 'Bouguer' gravity of Earth's moon based on data from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) amd topography from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Lunar Orbiter's Laser Altimer (LOLA)
Bouguer gravity is what remains from the gravity field when the attraction of surface topography is removed.
Map of Moon's Crust
The animation depicting the crustal thickness of the moon was derived using gravity data from NASA's GRAIL mission and topography data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Gravity Field of the Moon overlaid with terrain map
Image Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio / JPL-Caltech / MIT / SRS
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