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Topic: asteroids

1984
1984
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2017
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2017
602 media by topicpage 1 of 7
The doors of three Experimental Test Site (ETS) Observa-Domes are open to allow their individual Ground-based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance (GEODSS) telescopes to aim skyward to track asteroids traveling through space towards Earth. The ETS is located east of Socorro, New Mexico (NM), in the Northern Call-up Area (FIX) on the White Sands Missile Range, NM, and is operated by the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Lincoln Laboratory to support the joint US Air Force (USAF) Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) funded Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) Project

The doors of three Experimental Test Site (ETS) Observa-Domes are open...

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Base: White Sands Missile Range State: New Mexico (NM) Country: United States Of America (USA) Scene Camera Operator: Unknown Release Status: Released... more

Artist: Gebing Artist's conception of a newborne star, still hidden in visible light by the dust clouds within which it formed, shows matter in orbit around the rotating star. Such leftover debris may eventually form comets, planets, satellites, and asteroids. Material squeezed out by the formation process is thought to be ejected along the star's rotation axis in relatively narrow, high-velocity streams of matter. (ref: SIRTF borchure 'A Window on Cosmic Birth 1987) -- Milky Way with Black hole ARC-1985-AC85-0199-5

Artist: Gebing Artist's conception of a newborne star, still hidden in...

Artist: Gebing Artist's conception of a newborne star, still hidden in visible light by the dust clouds within which it formed, shows matter in orbit around the rotating star. Such leftover debris may eventuall... more

Range:  72.3 million km. ( 44.9 million miles ) P-29314B/W This Voyager 2 photograph of Uranus shows the planets outermost, or epsilon, ring.  This is a computerized summation of six images shot by the narrow angle camera. It is the first photo to show the epsilon ring unblurred by Earth's atmosphere. The Epsilon ring, some 51,200 km. ( 31,800 miles )  from the planets center, is the most prominent of Uranus' nine known rings. Ground based observations of stellar occulations by the rings have determined that the Epsilon ring is eccentric, or elliptical, with its widest portion  about 100 km. ( 60 miles ) wide and its narrowest portion about 20 km. (12 miles ). Estimates of the rings brightness suggest that it is also very dark, with a reflectance of only 1 or 2  percent and a probable  composition of carbonaceous material similiar to that on dark asteroids and the dark side of Saturn's moon Lapetus. Because the ring is so narrow and dark, at this range,  the Voyager camera could not  resolve even the widest part,  resulting in long exposure times so obtain a good image. six exposures of 11 or 15 second duration were added together by computer to produce this image.  In this image, the central  portion is greatly overexposed. Various artifacts due to electronic effects  and image proccessing can be seen in the central portion of the frame, including the dark image just above the planets image, the diffuse brightening below it and the small, bright projection from the edge of the planet in the upper left. The ring is distinctly less prominent in the lower left portion and more prominent in the upper right. This is in agreement with the predicted locations of the narrow and wide portions of the ring, respectively. ARC-1985-A86-7001

Range: 72.3 million km. ( 44.9 million miles ) P-29314B/W This Voyage...

Range: 72.3 million km. ( 44.9 million miles ) P-29314B/W This Voyager 2 photograph of Uranus shows the planets outermost, or epsilon, ring. This is a computerized summation of six images shot by the narrow a... more

This image is the first full picture showing both asteroid 243 Ida and its newly discovered moon to be transmitted to Earth from NASA's Galileo spacecraft--the first conclusive evidence that natural satellites of asteroids exist.  Ida is the large object to the left, about 56 kilometers (35 miles long).  Ida's natural satellite is the small object to the right.  This portrait was taken by Galileo's charge-coupled device (CCD) camera on August 28, 1993, about 14 minutes before the spacecraft's closest approach to the asteriod, from a range of 10,870 kilometers (6,755 miles).  Ida is a heavily cratered, irregularly shaped asteroid in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter-- the 243rd asteroid to be discovered since the first one was found at the beginning of the 19th century.  It is a member of a group of asteroids called the Koronis family.  The small satellite, which is about 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) across in this view, has yet to be given a name by astronomers.  It has been provisionally designated '1993 (243) 1' by the International Astronomical Union.  (The numbers denote the year the picture was taken, the asteroid number and the fact that it is the first moon of Ida to be found.)  ALthough the satellite appears to be 'next' to Ida it is actually slightly in the foreground, closer to the spacecraft than Ida.  Combining this image with data from Galileo's near-infrared mapping spectrometer, the science team estimates that the object is about 100 kilometers (60 miles) away from the center of Ida.  This image is one of a six-frame series taken through different color filters, this one in green.  The spatial resolution in this image is about 100 meters (330 feet) per pixel.  The Galileo spacecraft flew past Ida en route to its final destination, Jupiter, where it will go into orbit in December 1995.  The Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the galileo Project for NASA's Office of Space Science. (JPL ref. No. P-43731) ARC-1994-A91-2018

This image is the first full picture showing both asteroid 243 Ida and...

This image is the first full picture showing both asteroid 243 Ida and its newly discovered moon to be transmitted to Earth from NASA's Galileo spacecraft--the first conclusive evidence that natural satellites ... more

Asteroid Ida and Its Moon

Asteroid Ida and Its Moon

This is the first full picture showing both asteroid 243 Ida and its newly discovered moon to be transmitted to Earth from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Galileo spacecraft--the fi... more

Mars Rotational and Orbital Dynamics

Mars Rotational and Orbital Dynamics

The Rotation and Orbit Dynamics experiment is based on measuring the Doppler range to Pathfinder using the radio link. Mars rotation about it's pole causes a signature in the data with a daily minimum when the ... more

Two Very Different Asteroids

Two Very Different Asteroids

Two Very Different Asteroids NASA/JPL/JHUAPL

An Irish Tale: One City, Two Asteroids

An Irish Tale: One City, Two Asteroids

This image was acquired on May 5, 2000 during NASA Terra orbit 2026. The location of the town of Armagh in Northern Ireland is marked. NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL, MISR Team

Southwest Research Institute astronomer Dan Durda checks the alignment of the SWUIS-A Xybion digital camera mounted in the rear cockpit of a NASA Dryden F/A-18B before taking off on an astronomy mission. EC02-0072-20

Southwest Research Institute astronomer Dan Durda checks the alignment...

Southwest Research Institute astronomer Dan Durda checks the alignment of the SWUIS-A Xybion digital camera mounted in the rear cockpit of a NASA Dryden F/A-18B before taking off on an astronomy mission.

The Southwest Research Institute's SWUIS-A digital imaging system was installed on the instrument panel of a NASA Dryden F/A-18B for a series of astronomy flights. EC02-0072-11

The Southwest Research Institute's SWUIS-A digital imaging system was ...

The Southwest Research Institute's SWUIS-A digital imaging system was installed on the instrument panel of a NASA Dryden F/A-18B for a series of astronomy flights.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- A solid rocket booster is ready for lifting into the mobile service tower on Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.  The booster will be mated to the Delta II first stage for launch of the Dawn spacecraft.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Launch is targeted for July 7.  Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-07pd1482

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- A solid rocket booster is ready for lift...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- A solid rocket booster is ready for lifting into the mobile service tower on Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The booster will be mated to the Delta II first s... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- This closeup shows four of the nine solid rocket boosters being mated to the Delta II first stage on Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for launch of the Dawn spacecraft.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Launch is targeted for July 7.  Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-07pd1477

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- This closeup shows four of the nine soli...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- This closeup shows four of the nine solid rocket boosters being mated to the Delta II first stage on Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for launch of the Dawn spac... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Two solid rocket boosters in the mobile service tower on Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station wait for a third, below.  They will all be mated to the Delta II first stage for launch of the Dawn spacecraft. Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Launch is targeted for July 7.  Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-07pd1485

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Two solid rocket boosters in the mobile ...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Two solid rocket boosters in the mobile service tower on Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station wait for a third, below. They will all be mated to the Delta II first ... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Another solid rocket booster arrives on Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to be mated to the Delta II first stage.  The Delta is the launch vehicle for the Dawn spacecraft.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Launch is targeted for July 7.  Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-07pd1479

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Another solid rocket booster arrives on ...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Another solid rocket booster arrives on Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to be mated to the Delta II first stage. The Delta is the launch vehicle for the Dawn s... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --  On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the mobile service tower with solid rocket boosters inside nears the Delta II first stage. The Delta is the launch vehicle of the Dawn spacecraft.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Launch is targeted for July 7.  Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-07pd1489

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Ai...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the mobile service tower with solid rocket boosters inside nears the Delta II first stage. The Delta is the launch vehicle ... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Next to the mobile service tower on Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Delta II first stage is being mated to the solid rocket boosters for launch of the Dawn spacecraft.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Launch is targeted for July 7.  Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-07pd1476

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Next to the mobile service tower on Laun...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Next to the mobile service tower on Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Delta II first stage is being mated to the solid rocket boosters for launch of the Dawn... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- A solid rocket booster is ready for lifting into the mobile service tower on Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.  The booster will be mated to the Delta II first stage for launch of the Dawn spacecraft.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Launch is targeted for July 7.  Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-07pd1481

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- A solid rocket booster is ready for lift...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- A solid rocket booster is ready for lifting into the mobile service tower on Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The booster will be mated to the Delta II first s... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Another solid rocket booster is raised off its transporter before being lifted into the mobile service tower on Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.  The booster will join the other suspended in the tower to be mated to the Delta II first stage for launch of the Dawn spacecraft.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Launch is targeted for July 7.  Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-07pd1484

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Another solid rocket booster is raised o...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Another solid rocket booster is raised off its transporter before being lifted into the mobile service tower on Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The booster wi... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Three solid rocket boosters are suspended in the mobile service tower on Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for mating to the Delta II first stage for launch of the Dawn spacecraft. Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Launch is targeted for July 7.  Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-07pd1487

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Three solid rocket boosters are suspende...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Three solid rocket boosters are suspended in the mobile service tower on Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for mating to the Delta II first stage for launch of th... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --  On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Delta II first stage at left waits for additional solid rocket boosters in the mobile service tower to be mated with those already attached.  The Delta is the launch vehicle of the Dawn spacecraft.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Launch is targeted for July 7.  Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-07pd1488

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Ai...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Delta II first stage at left waits for additional solid rocket boosters in the mobile service tower to be mated with th... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- A solid rocket booster is lifted into the mobile service tower on Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.  The booster will be mated to the Delta II first stage for launch of the Dawn spacecraft.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Launch is targeted for July 7.  Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-07pd1483

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- A solid rocket booster is lifted into th...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- A solid rocket booster is lifted into the mobile service tower on Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The booster will be mated to the Delta II first stage for la... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Delta II first stage waits for the mating of additional solid rocket boosters for launch of the Dawn spacecraft.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Launch is targeted for July 7.  Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-07pd1478

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Delta II first stage waits for the mating of additional solid rocket boosters for launch of the Dawn spacecraft. Dawn's... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --  On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, buildup of the Delta II first stage and solid rocket boosters for the Dawn spacecraft is seen.  Below the rocket is the flame trench, and in the foreground is the overflow pool.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Launch is targeted for July 7.  Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-07pd1490

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Ai...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, buildup of the Delta II first stage and solid rocket boosters for the Dawn spacecraft is seen. Below the rocket is the fla... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- A solid rocket booster is raised off its transporter before being lifted into the mobile service tower on Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.  The booster will be mated to the Delta II first stage for launch of the Dawn spacecraft. Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Launch is targeted for July 7.  Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-07pd1480

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- A solid rocket booster is raised off its...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- A solid rocket booster is raised off its transporter before being lifted into the mobile service tower on Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The booster will be ... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- A third solid rocket booster is raised off its transporter before being lifted into the mobile service tower on Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.  The booster will join the others suspended in the tower to be mated to the Delta II first stage for launch of the Dawn spacecraft.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Launch is targeted for July 7.  Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-07pd1486

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- A third solid rocket booster is raised o...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- A third solid rocket booster is raised off its transporter before being lifted into the mobile service tower on Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The booster wi... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --  On June 11, during a procedure to prepare the Dawn spacecraft for spin-balance testing, the back of a solar array panel was slightly damaged by a technician's tool.  The size of the affected area is about 2.5 inches by 2 inches. The necessary minor repairs will be made during the coming weekend. There is no impact to the launch date of July 7.   Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.   Photo courtesy of Orbital Sciences KSC-07pd1502

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On June 11, during a procedure to prepa...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On June 11, during a procedure to prepare the Dawn spacecraft for spin-balance testing, the back of a solar array panel was slightly damaged by a technician's tool. The size of t... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --  On June 11, during a procedure to prepare the Dawn spacecraft for spin-balance testing, the back of a solar array panel was slightly damaged by a technician's tool.  The size of the affected area is about 2.5 inches by 2 inches. The necessary minor repairs will be made during the coming weekend. There is no impact to the launch date of July 7.   Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.   Photo courtesy of Orbital Sciences KSC-07pd1503

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On June 11, during a procedure to prepa...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On June 11, during a procedure to prepare the Dawn spacecraft for spin-balance testing, the back of a solar array panel was slightly damaged by a technician's tool. The size of t... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --  On June 11, during a procedure to prepare the Dawn spacecraft for spin-balance testing, the back of a solar array panel was slightly damaged by a technician's tool.  The size of the affected area is about 2.5 inches by 2 inches. The necessary minor repairs will be made during the coming weekend. There is no impact to the launch date of July 7.   Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.   Photo courtesy of Orbital Sciences KSC-07pd1504

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On June 11, during a procedure to prepa...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On June 11, during a procedure to prepare the Dawn spacecraft for spin-balance testing, the back of a solar array panel was slightly damaged by a technician's tool. The size of t... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --  At Astrotech, an engineer from Dutch Space is making repairs on the slight damage done by a technician's tool to the back of a solar array panel of the Dawn spacecraft on June 11 during a procedure to prepare Dawn for spin-balance testing. The size of the affected area is about 2.5 inches by 2 inches. There is no impact to the launch date of July 7.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.    Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1535

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, an engineer from Dutch Sp...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, an engineer from Dutch Space is making repairs on the slight damage done by a technician's tool to the back of a solar array panel of the Dawn spacecraft on June 11 ... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, engineers from Dutch Space are making repairs on the slight damage done by a technician's tool to the back of a solar array panel of the Dawn spacecraft on June 11 during a procedure to prepare Dawn for spin-balance testing. The size of the affected area is about 2.5 inches by 2 inches. There is no impact to the launch date of July 7.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.    Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1529

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, engineers from Dutch Space...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, engineers from Dutch Space are making repairs on the slight damage done by a technician's tool to the back of a solar array panel of the Dawn spacecraft on June 11 du... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --  At Astrotech, engineers from Dutch Space are making repairs on the slight damage done by a technician's tool to the back of a solar array panel of the Dawn spacecraft on June 11 during a procedure to prepare Dawn for spin-balance testing. The size of the affected area is about 2.5 inches by 2 inches. There is no impact to the launch date of July 7.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.    Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1534

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, engineers from Dutch Spac...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, engineers from Dutch Space are making repairs on the slight damage done by a technician's tool to the back of a solar array panel of the Dawn spacecraft on June 11 d... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --At Astrotech, engineers from Dutch Space prepare materials to make repairs on the slight damage done by a technician's tool to the back of a solar array panel of the Dawn spacecraft on June 11 during a procedure to prepare Dawn for spin-balance testing.  The size of the affected area is about 2.5 inches by 2 inches. There is no impact to the launch date of July 7.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.    Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1530

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --At Astrotech, engineers from Dutch Space ...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --At Astrotech, engineers from Dutch Space prepare materials to make repairs on the slight damage done by a technician's tool to the back of a solar array panel of the Dawn spacecraft... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --At Astrotech, engineers from Dutch Space are making repairs on the slight damage done by a technician's tool to the back of a solar array panel of the Dawn spacecraft on June 11 during a procedure to prepare Dawn for spin-balance testing. The size of the affected area is about 2.5 inches by 2 inches. There is no impact to the launch date of July 7.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.    Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1531

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --At Astrotech, engineers from Dutch Space ...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --At Astrotech, engineers from Dutch Space are making repairs on the slight damage done by a technician's tool to the back of a solar array panel of the Dawn spacecraft on June 11 dur... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The area of slight damage done by a technician's tool to the back of a solar array panel on the Dawn spacecraft is under repair.  The damage occurred at Astrotech on June 11 during a procedure to prepare Dawn for spin-balance testing.  The size of the affected area is about 2.5 inches by 2 inches. There is no impact to the launch date of July 7.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.    Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1532

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The area of slight damage done by a tech...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The area of slight damage done by a technician's tool to the back of a solar array panel on the Dawn spacecraft is under repair. The damage occurred at Astrotech on June 11 during... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --  At Astrotech, engineers from Dutch Space prepare materials to make repairs on the slight damage done by a technician's tool to the back of a solar array panel of the Dawn spacecraft on June 11 during a procedure to prepare Dawn for spin-balance testing.  The size of the affected area is about 2.5 inches by 2 inches. There is no impact to the launch date of July 7.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.    Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1533

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, engineers from Dutch Spac...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, engineers from Dutch Space prepare materials to make repairs on the slight damage done by a technician's tool to the back of a solar array panel of the Dawn spacecra... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --  At Astrotech, an engineer from Dutch Space examines the repair in process of damage made to the solar array panel on the Dawn spacecraft.  The damage occurred on June 11 from a technician's tool during a procedure to prepare Dawn for spin-balance testing.The size of the affected area is about 2.5 inches by 2 inches. There is no impact to the launch date of July 7.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.    Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1537

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, an engineer from Dutch Sp...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, an engineer from Dutch Space examines the repair in process of damage made to the solar array panel on the Dawn spacecraft. The damage occurred on June 11 from a te... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --   At Astrotech, a Dutch Space technician repairs the damage to the lower edge of the solar array panel on the Dawn spacecraft. On June 11, during a procedure to prepare the Dawn spacecraft for spin-balance testing, the back of a solar array panel was slightly damaged by a technician's tool.  The size of the affected area is about 2.5 inches by 2 inches. There is no impact to the launch date of July 7.   Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1585

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, a Dutch Space technician...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, a Dutch Space technician repairs the damage to the lower edge of the solar array panel on the Dawn spacecraft. On June 11, during a procedure to prepare the Dawn sp... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --  Seen here is the area of damage under repair on the solar array panel on the Dawn spacecraft.  The damage occurred at Astrotech on June 11 from a technician's tool during a procedure to prepare Dawn for spin-balance testing. The size of the affected area is about 2.5 inches by 2 inches. There is no impact to the launch date of July 7.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.    Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1536

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Seen here is the area of damage under r...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Seen here is the area of damage under repair on the solar array panel on the Dawn spacecraft. The damage occurred at Astrotech on June 11 from a technician's tool during a proced... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --  At Astrotech, engineers from Dutch Space lie underneath the Dawn spacecraft to examine the damage repairs under process on the solar array panel.  The damage occurred on June 11 from a technician's tool during a procedure to prepare Dawn for spin-balance testing. The size of the affected area is about 2.5 inches by 2 inches. There is no impact to the launch date of July 7.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.    Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1538

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, engineers from Dutch Spac...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, engineers from Dutch Space lie underneath the Dawn spacecraft to examine the damage repairs under process on the solar array panel. The damage occurred on June 11 f... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --   At Astrotech, engineers from Dutch Space lie underneath the Dawn spacecraft to examine the repairs under process on damage made to the solar array panel.  The damage occurred on June 11 from a technician's tool during a procedure to prepare Dawn for spin-balance testing. The size of the affected area is about 2.5 inches by 2 inches. There is no impact to the launch date of July 7.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.    Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1539

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, engineers from Dutch Spa...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, engineers from Dutch Space lie underneath the Dawn spacecraft to examine the repairs under process on damage made to the solar array panel. The damage occurred on ... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --   At Astrotech, a Dutch Space technician repairs the damage to the lower edge of the solar array panel on the Dawn spacecraft. On June 11, during a procedure to prepare the Dawn spacecraft for spin-balance testing, the back of a solar array panel was slightly damaged by a technician's tool.  The size of the affected area is about 2.5 inches by 2 inches. There is no impact to the launch date of July 7.   Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1586

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, a Dutch Space technician...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, a Dutch Space technician repairs the damage to the lower edge of the solar array panel on the Dawn spacecraft. On June 11, during a procedure to prepare the Dawn sp... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --   At Astrotech, a Dutch Space technician repairs the damage to the lower edge of the solar array panel on the Dawn spacecraft. On June 11, during a procedure to prepare the Dawn spacecraft for spin-balance testing, the back of a solar array panel was slightly damaged by a technician's tool.  The size of the affected area is about 2.5 inches by 2 inches. There is no impact to the launch date of July 7.   Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1584

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, a Dutch Space technician...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, a Dutch Space technician repairs the damage to the lower edge of the solar array panel on the Dawn spacecraft. On June 11, during a procedure to prepare the Dawn sp... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --   At Astrotech, a Dutch Space technician repairs the damage to the lower edge of the solar array panel on the Dawn spacecraft. On June 11, during a procedure to prepare the Dawn spacecraft for spin-balance testing, the back of a solar array panel was slightly damaged by a technician's tool.  The size of the affected area is about 2.5 inches by 2 inches. There is no impact to the launch date of July 7.   Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1587

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, a Dutch Space technician...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, a Dutch Space technician repairs the damage to the lower edge of the solar array panel on the Dawn spacecraft. On June 11, during a procedure to prepare the Dawn sp... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --  This closeup reveals the repair made to the damage on a solar array panel on the Dawn spacecraft.   The damage, incurred on June 11, was made by a technician's tool during a procedure to prepare Dawn for spin-balance testing. The size of the affected area is about 2.5 inches by 2 inches. There was no impact to the launch date of July 7.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt  Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1557

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- This closeup reveals the repair made to...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- This closeup reveals the repair made to the damage on a solar array panel on the Dawn spacecraft. The damage, incurred on June 11, was made by a technician's tool during a proce... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --  At Astrotech, an engineer from Dutch Space makes a final check of repair made to the damage on a solar array panel on the Dawn spacecraft.   The damage, incurred on June 11, was made by a technician's tool during a procedure to prepare Dawn for spin-balance testing. The size of the affected area is about 2.5 inches by 2 inches. There was no impact to the launch date of July 7.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt  Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1556

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, an engineer from Dutch Sp...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, an engineer from Dutch Space makes a final check of repair made to the damage on a solar array panel on the Dawn spacecraft. The damage, incurred on June 11, was m... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --  At Astrotech, engineers from Dutch Space have repaired the damage to the solar array panel on the Dawn spacecraft.   The damage, incurred on June 11, was made by a technician's tool during a procedure to prepare Dawn for spin-balance testing. The size of the affected area is about 2.5 inches by 2 inches. There was no impact to the launch date of July 7.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt  Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1555

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, engineers from Dutch Spac...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, engineers from Dutch Space have repaired the damage to the solar array panel on the Dawn spacecraft. The damage, incurred on June 11, was made by a technician's to... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --  At Astrotech, the repair to the damage on the solar array panel on the Dawn spacecraft is seen here. Incurred on June 11, the damage was made by a technician's tool during a procedure to prepare Dawn for spin-balance testing.  The size of the affected area is about 2.5 inches by 2 inches. There was no impact to the launch date of July 7.  Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt  Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1583

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, the repair to the damage ...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, the repair to the damage on the solar array panel on the Dawn spacecraft is seen here. Incurred on June 11, the damage was made by a technician's tool during a proce... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --  On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, workers complete encapsulation of the fairing around NASA's Dawn spacecraft.  The fairing is a molded structure that fits flush with the outside surface of the Delta II upper stage booster and forms an aerodynamically smooth nose cone, protecting the spacecraft during launch and ascent. Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Launch is scheduled for July 8.  Photo credit: NASA/Amanda Diller KSC-07pd1721

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Ai...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, workers complete encapsulation of the fairing around NASA's Dawn spacecraft. The fairing is a molded structure ... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --   NASA's Dawn spacecraft waits for fairing encapsulation in the mobile service tower of Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.  The fairing is a molded structure that fits flush with the outside surface of the Delta II upper stage booster and forms an aerodynamically smooth nose cone, protecting the spacecraft during launch and ascent. Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Launch is scheduled for July 8.  Photo credit: NASA/Amanda Diller KSC-07pd1713

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- NASA's Dawn spacecraft waits for fairi...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- NASA's Dawn spacecraft waits for fairing encapsulation in the mobile service tower of Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The fairing is a molded str... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --   On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the first half of the fairing is lifted into the mobile service tower for encapsulation around NASA's Dawn spacecraft.  The fairing is a molded structure that fits flush with the outside surface of the Delta II upper stage booster and forms an aerodynamically smooth nose cone, protecting the spacecraft during launch and ascent. Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Launch is scheduled for July 8.  Photo credit: NASA/Amanda Diller KSC-07pd1714

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral A...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the first half of the fairing is lifted into the mobile service tower for encapsulation around NASA's Dawn spac... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --   On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, a worker oversees the movement of the first half of the fairing toward NASA's Dawn spacecraft for encapsulation. The fairing is a molded structure that fits flush with the outside surface of the Delta II upper stage booster and forms an aerodynamically smooth nose cone, protecting the spacecraft during launch and ascent. Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Launch is scheduled for July 8.  Photo credit: NASA/Amanda Diller KSC-07pd1716

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral A...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, a worker oversees the movement of the first half of the fairing toward NASA's Dawn spacecraft for encapsulation... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --   On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the first half of the fairing moves toward NASA's Dawn spacecraft for encapsulation. The fairing is a molded structure that fits flush with the outside surface of the Delta II upper stage booster and forms an aerodynamically smooth nose cone, protecting the spacecraft during launch and ascent. Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Launch is scheduled for July 8.  Photo credit: NASA/Amanda Diller KSC-07pd1717

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral A...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the first half of the fairing moves toward NASA's Dawn spacecraft for encapsulation. The fairing is a molded st... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --    On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the second half of the fairing moves toward NASA's Dawn spacecraft to complete encapsulation. The fairing is a molded structure that fits flush with the outside surface of the Delta II upper stage booster and forms an aerodynamically smooth nose cone, protecting the spacecraft during launch and ascent. Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Launch is scheduled for July 8.  Photo credit: NASA/Amanda Diller KSC-07pd1720

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral ...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the second half of the fairing moves toward NASA's Dawn spacecraft to complete encapsulation. The fairing is a... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --   On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, workers supervise the movement of the first half of the fairing toward NASA's Dawn spacecraft for encapsulation. The fairing is a molded structure that fits flush with the outside surface of the Delta II upper stage booster and forms an aerodynamically smooth nose cone, protecting the spacecraft during launch and ascent. Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Launch is scheduled for July 8.  Photo credit: NASA/Amanda Diller KSC-07pd1719

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral A...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, workers supervise the movement of the first half of the fairing toward NASA's Dawn spacecraft for encapsulation... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --   On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, workers supervise the movement of the first half of the fairing toward NASA's Dawn spacecraft for encapsulation. The fairing is a molded structure that fits flush with the outside surface of the Delta II upper stage booster and forms an aerodynamically smooth nose cone, protecting the spacecraft during launch and ascent. Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Launch is scheduled for July 8.  Photo credit: NASA/Amanda Diller KSC-07pd1718

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral A...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, workers supervise the movement of the first half of the fairing toward NASA's Dawn spacecraft for encapsulation... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --  On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, workers prepare the first half of the fairing for encapsulation around NASA's Dawn spacecraft.  The fairing is a molded structure that fits flush with the outside surface of the Delta II upper stage booster and forms an aerodynamically smooth nose cone, protecting the spacecraft during launch and ascent. Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt.  Launch is scheduled for July 8.  Photo credit: NASA/Amanda Diller KSC-07pd1715

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Ai...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, workers prepare the first half of the fairing for encapsulation around NASA's Dawn spacecraft. The fairing is a... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Just after sunrise, the Delta II rocket carrying NASA's Dawn spacecraft rose from its launch pad to begin its 1.7-billion-mile journey through the inner solar system to study a pair of asteroids.  Liftoff was at 7:34 a.m. EDT from Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.  Dawn is the ninth mission in NASA's Discovery Program. The spacecraft will be the first to orbit two planetary bodies, asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres,  during a single mission. Vesta and Ceres lie in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It is also NASA's first purely scientific mission powered by three solar electric ion propulsion engines. Photo credit: NASA/Tony Gray & Robert Murray KSC-07pd2588

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Just after sunrise, the Delta II rocket ...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Just after sunrise, the Delta II rocket carrying NASA's Dawn spacecraft rose from its launch pad to begin its 1.7-billion-mile journey through the inner solar system to study a pai... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Nearly enveloped by the smoke after ignition, the Delta II rocket carrying NASA's Dawn spacecraft rises from the smoke and fire on the launch pad to begin its 1.7-billion-mile journey through the inner solar system to study a pair of asteroids.    Liftoff was at 7:34 a.m. EDT from Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.  Dawn is the ninth mission in NASA's Discovery Program. The spacecraft will be the first to orbit two planetary bodies, asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres,  during a single mission. Vesta and Ceres lie in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It is also NASA's first purely scientific mission powered by three solar electric ion propulsion engines. Photo credit: NASA/Sandra Joseph & Rafael Hernandez KSC-07pd2592

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Nearly enveloped by the smoke after igni...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Nearly enveloped by the smoke after ignition, the Delta II rocket carrying NASA's Dawn spacecraft rises from the smoke and fire on the launch pad to begin its 1.7-billion-mile jour... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Just after sunrise, the Delta II rocket carrying NASA's Dawn spacecraft rose from its launch pad to begin its 1.7-billion-mile journey through the inner solar system to study a pair of asteroids.  Liftoff was at 7:34 a.m. EDT from Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.  Dawn is the ninth mission in NASA's Discovery Program. The spacecraft will be the first to orbit two planetary bodies, asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres,  during a single mission. Vesta and Ceres lie in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It is also NASA's first purely scientific mission powered by three solar electric ion propulsion engines. Photo credit: NASA/Tony Gray & Robert Murray KSC-07pd2587

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Just after sunrise, the Delta II rocket ...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Just after sunrise, the Delta II rocket carrying NASA's Dawn spacecraft rose from its launch pad to begin its 1.7-billion-mile journey through the inner solar system to study a pai... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Against a backdrop of clouds on the horizon, the Delta II rocket carrying NASA's Dawn spacecraft rises from the smoke and fire on the launch pad to begin its 1.7-billion-mile journey through the inner solar system to study a pair of asteroids.  Liftoff was at 7:34 a.m. EDT from Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.  Dawn is the ninth mission in NASA's Discovery Program. The spacecraft will be the first to orbit two planetary bodies, asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres,  during a single mission. Vesta and Ceres lie in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It is also NASA's first purely scientific mission powered by three solar electric ion propulsion engines. Photo credit: NASA/Sandra Joseph & Rafael Hernandez KSC-07pd2591

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Against a backdrop of clouds on the hori...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Against a backdrop of clouds on the horizon, the Delta II rocket carrying NASA's Dawn spacecraft rises from the smoke and fire on the launch pad to begin its 1.7-billion-mile journ... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Just Against a backdrop of clouds on the horizon, the Delta II rocket carrying NASA's Dawn spacecraft rises from the smoke and fire on the launch pad to begin its 1.7-billion-mile journey through the inner solar system to study a pair of asteroids.  Liftoff was at 7:34 a.m. EDT from Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.  Dawn is the ninth mission in NASA's Discovery Program. The spacecraft will be the first to orbit two planetary bodies, asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres,  during a single mission. Vesta and Ceres lie in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It is also NASA's first purely scientific mission powered by three solar electric ion propulsion engines. Photo credit: NASA/Tony Gray & Robert Murray KSC-07pd2590

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Just Against a backdrop of clouds on the...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Just Against a backdrop of clouds on the horizon, the Delta II rocket carrying NASA's Dawn spacecraft rises from the smoke and fire on the launch pad to begin its 1.7-billion-mile ... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The Delta II rocket carrying NASA's Dawn spacecraft rises from the smoke and fire on the launch pad to begin its 1.7-billion-mile journey through the inner solar system to study a pair of asteroids.    Liftoff was at 7:34 a.m. EDT from Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.  Dawn is the ninth mission in NASA's Discovery Program. The spacecraft will be the first to orbit two planetary bodies, asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres,  during a single mission. Vesta and Ceres lie in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It is also NASA's first purely scientific mission powered by three solar electric ion propulsion engines. Photo credit: NASA/Regina Mitchell-Ryall & Jerry Cannon KSC-07pd2589

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The Delta II rocket carrying NASA's Dawn...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The Delta II rocket carrying NASA's Dawn spacecraft rises from the smoke and fire on the launch pad to begin its 1.7-billion-mile journey through the inner solar system to study a ... more

Silicates in Alien Asteroids

Silicates in Alien Asteroids

This plot of data from NASA Spitzer Space Telescopes shows that asteroid dust around a dead white dwarf star contains silicates -- a common mineral on Earth. NASA/JPL-Caltech

Scanning for Asteroids and Comets

Scanning for Asteroids and Comets

This image shows asteroids observed so far by NASA Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. An animation is available at the Photojournal. NASA/JPL-Caltech/ULCA/JHU

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Delta turn basin at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, United Space Alliance (USA) workers help orient an Orion test article to enable a ship's crane to rotate it.     The uprighting tests are part of USA's research and development program to help develop ground operations support equipment that could be used to reorient and recover an uncrewed Orion flight test capsule after splashdown.  USA is a major subcontractor to Lockheed Martin for the Orion spacecraft. The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle is NASA's next-generation spacecraft designed for deep space missions to asteroids, moons and other interplanetary destinations throughout the solar system. Orion's first uncrewed orbital flight test is slated for 2013. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/mpcv/. Photo credit: NASA/Frankie Martin KSC-2011-5615

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Delta turn basin at Cape Canaveral Air ...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Delta turn basin at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, United Space Alliance (USA) workers help orient an Orion test article to enable a ship's crane to rotate it. T... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Delta turn basin at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida,  United Space Alliance (USA) divers and boat crew monitor an Orion test article while waiting for its lift bags to inflate.    The uprighting tests are part of USA's research and development program to help develop ground operations support equipment that could be used to reorient and recover an uncrewed Orion flight test capsule after splashdown.  USA is a major subcontractor to Lockheed Martin for the Orion spacecraft. The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle is NASA's next-generation spacecraft designed for deep space missions to asteroids, moons and other interplanetary destinations throughout the solar system. Orion's first uncrewed orbital flight test is slated for 2013. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/mpcv/. Photo credit: NASA/Frankie Martin KSC-2011-5620

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Delta turn basin at Cape Canaveral Air ...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Delta turn basin at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, United Space Alliance (USA) divers and boat crew monitor an Orion test article while waiting for its lift bags to... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Delta turn basin at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida,  United Space Alliance (USA) workers help orient an Orion test article to enable a ship's crane to rotate it.     The uprighting tests are part of USA's research and development program to help develop ground operations support equipment that could be used to reorient and recover an uncrewed Orion flight test capsule after splashdown.  USA is a major subcontractor to Lockheed Martin for the Orion spacecraft. The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle is NASA's next-generation spacecraft designed for deep space missions to asteroids, moons and other interplanetary destinations throughout the solar system. Orion's first uncrewed orbital flight test is slated for 2013. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/mpcv/. Photo credit: NASA/Frankie Martin KSC-2011-5616

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Delta turn basin at Cape Canaveral Air ...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Delta turn basin at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, United Space Alliance (USA) workers help orient an Orion test article to enable a ship's crane to rotate it. ... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – A Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) prelaunch news conference is held in the NASA Press Site auditorium at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. From left are George Diller, NASA Public Affairs; Ed Weiler, NASA associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate; Tim Dunn, NASA launch director for the agency’s Launch Services Program; Vernon Thorp, program manager, NASA Missions, United Launch Alliance; David Lehman, GRAIL project manager, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory; John Henk, GRAIL program manager, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, Colo.; and Joel Tumbiolo, launch weather officer, 45th Weather Squadron, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. GRAIL is scheduled to launch Sept. 8 aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon's gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon's crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon's gravity field so completely that future moon vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-6752

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – A Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRA...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – A Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) prelaunch news conference is held in the NASA Press Site auditorium at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. From left are George Dill... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – News media participate in the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) prelaunch news conference held in the NASA Press Site auditorium at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. On the dais, panelist from left are Ed Weiler, NASA associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate; Tim Dunn, NASA launch director for the agency’s Launch Services Program; Vernon Thorp, program manager, NASA Missions, United Launch Alliance; David Lehman, GRAIL project manager, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory; John Henk, GRAIL program manager, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, Colo.; and Joel Tumbiolo, launch weather officer, 45th Weather Squadron, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. GRAIL is scheduled to launch Sept. 8 aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon's gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon's crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon's gravity field so completely that future moon vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-6753

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – News media participate in the Gravity Recovery ...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – News media participate in the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) prelaunch news conference held in the NASA Press Site auditorium at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. ... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Joel Tumbiolo, launch weather officer, 45th Weather Squadron, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., participates in the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) prelaunch news conference in the NASA Press Site auditorium at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. GRAIL is scheduled to launch Sept. 8 aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon's gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon's crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon's gravity field so completely that future moon vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-6750

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Joel Tumbiolo, launch weather officer, 45th Wea...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Joel Tumbiolo, launch weather officer, 45th Weather Squadron, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., participates in the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) prelaunch news c... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Vernon Thorp, program manager, NASA Missions, United Launch Alliance, participates in the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) prelaunch news conference in the NASA Press Site auditorium at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. GRAIL is scheduled to launch Sept. 8 aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon's gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon's crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon's gravity field so completely that future moon vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-6747

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Vernon Thorp, program manager, NASA Missions, U...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Vernon Thorp, program manager, NASA Missions, United Launch Alliance, participates in the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) prelaunch news conference in the NASA Press Site... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Tim Dunn, NASA launch director for the agency’s Launch Services Program, participates in the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) prelaunch news conference in the NASA Press Site auditorium at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. GRAIL is scheduled to launch Sept. 8 aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon's gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon's crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon's gravity field so completely that future moon vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-6746

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Tim Dunn, NASA launch director for the agency’s...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Tim Dunn, NASA launch director for the agency’s Launch Services Program, participates in the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) prelaunch news conference in the NASA Press S... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Ed Weiler, NASA associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate, participates in the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) prelaunch news conference in the NASA Press Site auditorium at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. GRAIL is scheduled to launch Sept. 8 aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon's gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon's crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon's gravity field so completely that future moon vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-6749

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Ed Weiler, NASA associate administrator, Scienc...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Ed Weiler, NASA associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate, participates in the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) prelaunch news conference in the NASA Press Site... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – David Lehman, GRAIL project manager, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, participates in the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) prelaunch news conference in the NASA Press Site auditorium at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. GRAIL is scheduled to launch Sept. 8 aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon's gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon's crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon's gravity field so completely that future moon vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-6748

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – David Lehman, GRAIL project manager, NASA’s Jet...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – David Lehman, GRAIL project manager, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, participates in the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) prelaunch news conference in the NASA Press Sit... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – John Henk, GRAIL program manager, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, Colo., participates in the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) prelaunch news conference in the NASA Press Site auditorium at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. GRAIL is scheduled to launch Sept. 8 aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon's gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon's crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon's gravity field so completely that future moon vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-6751

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – John Henk, GRAIL program manager, Lockheed Mart...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – John Henk, GRAIL program manager, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, Colo., participates in the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) prelaunch news conference in the NASA ... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Jim Adams, deputy director of planetary science at NASA Headquarters in Washington, speaks to a group of Tweetup participants at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida during prelaunch activities for the agency’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission. Participants toured NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and got a close-up view of Space Launch Complex 17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The tweeters will share their experiences with followers through the social networking site Twitter.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon’s gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon’s crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon’s internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon’s gravity field so completely that future lunar vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. Launch is scheduled for 8:37:06 a.m. EDT Sept. 8. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Gianni Woods KSC-2011-6793

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Jim Adams, deputy director of planetary science...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Jim Adams, deputy director of planetary science at NASA Headquarters in Washington, speaks to a group of Tweetup participants at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida during... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – – Sami Asmar, GRAIL deputy project scientist, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, participates in the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission science briefing in the NASA Press Site auditorium at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. GRAIL is scheduled to launch Sept. 8 aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon's gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon's crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon's gravity field so completely that future moon vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-6766

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – – Sami Asmar, GRAIL deputy project scientist, N...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – – Sami Asmar, GRAIL deputy project scientist, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, participates in the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission science briefing in the NASA P... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – – Leesa Hubbard, teacher in residence, Sally Ride Science, San Diego, participates in the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission science briefing in the NASA Press Site auditorium at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. GRAIL is scheduled to launch Sept. 8 aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon's gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon's crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon's gravity field so completely that future moon vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-6768

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – – Leesa Hubbard, teacher in residence, Sally Ri...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – – Leesa Hubbard, teacher in residence, Sally Ride Science, San Diego, participates in the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission science briefing in the NASA Press Site ... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden speaks to a group of Tweetup participants at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida during prelaunch activities for the agency’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission. Participants toured NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and got a close-up view of Space Launch Complex 17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The tweeters will share their experiences with followers through the social networking site Twitter.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon’s gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon’s crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon’s internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon’s gravity field so completely that future lunar vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. Launch is scheduled for 8:37:06 a.m. EDT Sept. 8. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Gianni Woods KSC-2011-6788

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden speaks to a g...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden speaks to a group of Tweetup participants at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida during prelaunch activities for the agency’s Gravity Rec... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden speaks to a group of Tweetup participants at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida during prelaunch activities for the agency’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission. Participants toured NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and got a close-up view of Space Launch Complex 17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The tweeters will share their experiences with followers through the social networking site Twitter.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon’s gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon’s crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon’s internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon’s gravity field so completely that future lunar vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. Launch is scheduled for 8:37:06 a.m. EDT Sept. 8. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Gianni Woods KSC-2011-6787

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden speaks to a g...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden speaks to a group of Tweetup participants at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida during prelaunch activities for the agency’s Gravity Rec... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – – Maria Zuber, GRAIL principal investigator with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, participates in the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission science briefing in the NASA Press Site auditorium at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. GRAIL is scheduled to launch Sept. 8 aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon's gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon's crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon's gravity field so completely that future moon vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-6765

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – – Maria Zuber, GRAIL principal investigator wit...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – – Maria Zuber, GRAIL principal investigator with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, participates in the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission science briefing i... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – – A Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission science briefing is held in the NASA Press Site auditorium at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. From left are DC Agle, NASA Public Affairs; Robert Fogel, NASA’s GRAIL program scientist; Maria Zuber, GRAIL principal investigator with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Sami Asmar, GRAIL deputy project scientist, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory; and Leesa Hubbard, teacher in residence, Sally Ride Science, San Diego. GRAIL is scheduled to launch Sept. 8 aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon's gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon's crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon's gravity field so completely that future moon vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-6769

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – – A Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (G...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – – A Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission science briefing is held in the NASA Press Site auditorium at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. From left are DC Agle, N... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Sami Asmar, GRAIL deputy project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., speaks to a group of Tweetup participants at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida during prelaunch activities for the agency’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission. Participants toured NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and got a close-up view of Space Launch Complex 17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The tweeters will share their experiences with followers through the social networking site Twitter.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon’s gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon’s crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon’s internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon’s gravity field so completely that future lunar vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. Launch is scheduled for 8:37:06 a.m. EDT Sept. 8. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Gianni Woods KSC-2011-6795

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Sami Asmar, GRAIL deputy project scientist at N...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Sami Asmar, GRAIL deputy project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., speaks to a group of Tweetup participants at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex i... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- At Space Launch Complex 17B on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, preparations are under way to roll the mobile service tower away from the United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket that will launch NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon's gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon's crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon's gravity field so completely that future lunar vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface.  Launch is scheduled for 8:37:06 a.m. EDT Sept. 8.  For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-6770

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- At Space Launch Complex 17B on Cape Canaveral ...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- At Space Launch Complex 17B on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, preparations are under way to roll the mobile service tower away from the United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket that wil... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Tweetup participants ask questions during prelaunch activities for NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. Participants toured NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and got a close-up view of Space Launch Complex 17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The tweeters will share their experiences with followers through the social networking site Twitter.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon’s gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon’s crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon’s internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon’s gravity field so completely that future lunar vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. Launch is scheduled for 8:37:06 a.m. EDT Sept. 8. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Gianni Woods KSC-2011-6796

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Tweetup participants ask questions during prela...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Tweetup participants ask questions during prelaunch activities for NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. ... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- At Space Launch Complex 17B on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket that will launch NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission is ready for launch.  Preparations are under way to roll the mobile service tower away from the rocket.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon's gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon's crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon's gravity field so completely that future lunar vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface.  Launch is scheduled for 8:37:06 a.m. EDT Sept. 8.  For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-6771

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- At Space Launch Complex 17B on Cape Canaveral ...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- At Space Launch Complex 17B on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket that will launch NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission is re... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Maria Zuber, GRAIL principal investigator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, speaks to a group of Tweetup participants at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida during prelaunch activities for NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission. Participants toured NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and got a close-up view of Space Launch Complex 17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The tweeters will share their experiences with followers through the social networking site Twitter.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon’s gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon’s crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon’s internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon’s gravity field so completely that future lunar vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. Launch is scheduled for 8:37:06 a.m. EDT Sept. 8. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Gianni Woods KSC-2011-6794

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Maria Zuber, GRAIL principal investigator at th...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Maria Zuber, GRAIL principal investigator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, speaks to a group of Tweetup participants at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex ... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden shares a humorous moment with a group of Tweetup participants at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida during prelaunch activities for the agency’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission. Participants toured NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and got a close-up view of Space Launch Complex 17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The tweeters will share their experiences with followers through the social networking site Twitter.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon’s gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon’s crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon’s internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon’s gravity field so completely that future lunar vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. Launch is scheduled for 8:37:06 a.m. EDT Sept. 8. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Gianni Woods KSC-2011-6789

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden shares a humo...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden shares a humorous moment with a group of Tweetup participants at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida during prelaunch activities for the ... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Stu Spath, chief spacecraft engineer with Lockheed Martin, speaks to a group of Tweetup participants at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida during prelaunch activities for the agency’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission. Participants toured NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and got a close-up view of Space Launch Complex 17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The tweeters will share their experiences with followers through the social networking site Twitter.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon’s gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon’s crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon’s internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon’s gravity field so completely that future lunar vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. Launch is scheduled for 8:37:06 a.m. EDT Sept. 8. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Gianni Woods KSC-2011-6798

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Stu Spath, chief spacecraft engineer with Lockh...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Stu Spath, chief spacecraft engineer with Lockheed Martin, speaks to a group of Tweetup participants at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida during prelaunch activities for... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- At Space Launch Complex 17B on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, view of the United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket that will launch NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission is unobstructed as the mobile service tower rolls away.  The "rollback" began at about 11:20 p.m. EDT.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon's gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon's crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon's gravity field so completely that future lunar vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface.  Launch is scheduled for 8:37:06 a.m. EDT Sept. 8.  For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-6779

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- At Space Launch Complex 17B on Cape Canaveral ...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- At Space Launch Complex 17B on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, view of the United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket that will launch NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory missi... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- At Space Launch Complex 17B on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the mobile service tower slowly rolls away from the United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket that will launch NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission.  The "rollback" began at about 11:20 p.m. EDT.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon's gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon's crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon's gravity field so completely that future lunar vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface.  Launch is scheduled for 8:37:06 a.m. EDT Sept. 8.  For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-6781

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- At Space Launch Complex 17B on Cape Canaveral ...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- At Space Launch Complex 17B on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the mobile service tower slowly rolls away from the United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket that will launch NASA's Gravit... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Robert Fogel, NASA’s GRAIL program scientist, participates in the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission science briefing in the NASA Press Site auditorium at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. GRAIL is scheduled to launch Sept. 8 aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon's gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon's crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon's gravity field so completely that future moon vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-6764

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Robert Fogel, NASA’s GRAIL program scientist, p...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Robert Fogel, NASA’s GRAIL program scientist, participates in the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission science briefing in the NASA Press Site auditorium at NASA's Ken... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- At Space Launch Complex 17B on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, spotlights illuminate the United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket that will launch NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission.  Preparations are under way to roll the mobile service tower away from the rocket.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon's gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon's crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon's gravity field so completely that future lunar vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface.  Launch is scheduled for 8:37:06 a.m. EDT Sept. 8.  For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-6776

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- At Space Launch Complex 17B on Cape Canaveral ...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- At Space Launch Complex 17B on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, spotlights illuminate the United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket that will launch NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior La... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Tweetup participants ask questions during prelaunch activities for NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. Participants toured NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and got a close-up view of Space Launch Complex 17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The tweeters will share their experiences with followers through the social networking site Twitter.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon’s gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon’s crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon’s internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon’s gravity field so completely that future lunar vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. Launch is scheduled for 8:37:06 a.m. EDT Sept. 8. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Gianni Woods KSC-2011-6799

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Tweetup participants ask questions during prela...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Tweetup participants ask questions during prelaunch activities for NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. ... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson with the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium in New York, speaks to a group of Tweetup participants at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida during prelaunch activities for the agency’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission. Participants toured NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and got a close-up view of Space Launch Complex 17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The tweeters will share their experiences with followers through the social networking site Twitter.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon’s gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon’s crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon’s internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon’s gravity field so completely that future lunar vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. Launch is scheduled for 8:37:06 a.m. EDT Sept. 8. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Gianni Woods KSC-2011-6800

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson with the...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson with the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium in New York, speaks to a group of Tweetup participants at the Kennedy Space Center ... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – – A Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission science briefing is held in the NASA Press Site auditorium at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. From left are Robert Fogel, NASA’s GRAIL program scientist; Maria Zuber, GRAIL principal investigator with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Sami Asmar, GRAIL deputy project scientist, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory; and Leesa Hubbard, teacher in residence, Sally Ride Science, San Diego. GRAIL is scheduled to launch Sept. 8 aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon's gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon's crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon's gravity field so completely that future moon vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-6767

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – – A Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (G...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – – A Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission science briefing is held in the NASA Press Site auditorium at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. From left are Robert Fog... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – News media photograph the United Launch Alliance Delta II heavy rocket carrying NASA’s twin Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory spacecraft at Launch Complex 17B as the mobile service tower is rolled back around to the vehicle after the first launch attempt was scrubbed due to upper-level winds. GRAIL is scheduled for another launch attempt Sept.10 at 8:29:45 a.m. EDT. at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon's gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon's crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon's gravity field so completely that future moon vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Ken Thornsley KSC-2011-6844

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – News media photograph the United Launch Allianc...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – News media photograph the United Launch Alliance Delta II heavy rocket carrying NASA’s twin Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory spacecraft at Launch Complex 17B as the mobile service... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson with the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium in New York, speaks to a group of Tweetup participants at NASA Kennedy Space Center’s NASA Causeway launch viewing site in Florida during prelaunch activities for the agency’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission. Participants toured the center and got a close-up view of Space Launch Complex 17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The tweeters will share their experiences with followers through the social networking site Twitter.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon’s gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon’s crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon’s internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon’s gravity field so completely that future lunar vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface. Launch is scheduled for 8:37:06 a.m. EDT Sept. 8. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-6815

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson with the...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson with the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium in New York, speaks to a group of Tweetup participants at NASA Kennedy Space Center... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- At Space Launch Complex 17B on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket that will launch NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission towers over the U.S. flag painted on the pad's structure.  The mobile service tower has been rolled away from the vehicle for launch.  The "rollback" began at about 11:20 p.m. EDT Sept. 7.    GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon's gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon's crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon's gravity field so completely that future lunar vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface.  Launch is scheduled for 8:37:06 a.m. EDT Sept. 8.  For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-6782

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- At Space Launch Complex 17B on Cape Canaveral ...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- At Space Launch Complex 17B on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket that will launch NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission tower... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission is readied for liftoff aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II Heavy rocket from Space Launch Complex 17B on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.     GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon's gravitational field. The mission will provide the most accurate global gravity field to date for any planet, including Earth. This detailed information will reveal differences in the density of the moon's crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure, thermal evolution, and history of collisions with asteroids. The aim is to map the moon's gravity field so completely that future lunar vehicles can safely navigate anywhere on the moon’s surface.  Launch is scheduled for 8:37:06 a.m. EDT Sept. 8.  For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/grail. Photo credit: NASA KSC-2011-6804

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laborator...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission is readied for liftoff aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II Heavy rocket from Space Launch Complex 17B on Cape Canaveral Air F... more