Friday, January 13, 2012

GRAIL twins to be officially renamed January 17

Follow GRAIL A and B, along with the full range
of robotic probes in orbit and deep space through
the JPL
Eyes on the Solar System web
NASA will host a news conference at 1800 UT, Tuesday, January 17, to announce the names selected from a nationwide student contest for twin spacecraft that will study the moon in unprecedented detail. The event will be held at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

Nine hundred classrooms and more than 11,000 students from 45 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, participated in the contest that began in October 2011.

The agency's twin Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL A/B) spacecraft successfully achieved lunar orbit on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, respectively. The status of the spacecraft and upcoming plans for science operations also will be discussed.

NASA Television and the agency's website will broadcast the live event.The participants will be John Grunsfeld, associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate, NASA HQ; Leland Melvin, associate administrator for Education, NASA HQ; Maria Zuber, GRAIL principal investigator, MIT, Cambridge, MA & Sally Ride, president and CEO, Sally Ride Science, San Diego along with the teacher and students who submitted the selected contest-winning names for the GRAIL spacecraft.

The event will be carried live on Ustream, with a live chat box available, at: .

For more information about GRAIL, visit: - or the GRAIL science site at MIT

For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and schedule information, visit: .

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA manages the GRAIL mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The GRAIL mission is part of the Discovery Program managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver built the spacecraft. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

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