Strong winds in the upper atmosphere forced NASA to scrub Thursday's planned launch of its newest moon mission. The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory is now set to lift off at 8:33 a.m. EDT or 9:12 a.m. PDT Saturday — but the weather is still not cooperating.
There's about a 40 percent chance of favorable conditions for Saturday, the same initial forecast for Thursday, the space agency said. Upper level winds were in violation of the launch criteria and must calm down before NASA will send a rocket through them.
Grail is designed to study the gravity field and interior composition of the moon. Twin probes will fly in formation, monitoring tiny changes in the distance between then to discern the moon's gravitational field.
They will take several months to arrive at the moon, ensuring they burn as much fuel as possible before arrival.
No bigy... ^^ GO NASA !
bored? lets go mine the stars... ^^
is the extra fuel a safety net? seems a waste to go the long route to burn all the fuel on board, cheers
really it is a cover up, the probes are watching for the moonies (aliens that make moonshine). So if they burn enough fuel they hope the moonies will show themselves.
The last sentence is quite misleading and factually incorrect. The probes are taking months to arrive at the moon using a route which requires the least amount of fuel to get there and enter into the appropriate orbit. From the official GRAIL website:
'The trans-lunar cruise phase consists of a 3.5-month low-energy transfer via the Sun-Earth Lagrange point 1 (EL1). Compared to a direct trajectory, this low-energy transfer was chosen to reduce the spacecraft fuel requirements (by ~130 m/s), to allow more time for spacecraft check-out and out-gassing, and to increase the number of days available in the launch period each month.'
Please research your articles better and have them fact-checked before releasing them to the public.