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GRAIL spacecraft crash into the Moon
Posted: Tue, Dec 18, 2012, 6:27 AM ET (1127 GMT)
GRAIL impact trajectory (NASA/JPL) NASA's twin GRAIL spacecraft crashed into a mountain on the Moon Monday afternoon, completing their nearly year-long mission there as planned. The two spacecraft, dubbed "Ebb" and "Flow", crashed into a mountain near the crater Goldschmidt in the Moon's north polar regions. Ebb crashed into the mountain at 5:28:51 pm EST (2228:51 GMT) and Flow crashed nearby 30 seconds later. NASA announced the impact sites would be named after Sally Ride, the first American woman in space who passed away earlier this year; she led the development of cameras on the spacecraft used exclusively for educational purposes. The two spacecraft entered orbit around the Moon at the beginning of the year to map the Moon's gravity field, work that has created the most precise gravity map to date of the body and, in turn, giving scientists insights into its interior structure.
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