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Engineers conduct fuel tank check on GRAIL spacecraft


Engineers conduct checks on one of NASA's GRAIL spacecraft in the Space Support Building at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver. Lockheed martin photo.

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA (BNS): Engineers have conducted a fuel tank check of one of NASA's GRAIL mission spacecraft scheduled for launch in 2011.

Confirming the size and fit of manufactured components is one of the steps required prior to welding the spacecraft's fuel tanks into the propulsion system's feed lines.

The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission will fly twin spacecraft (spacecraft "A" and "B") in tandem orbits around the moon for several months to measure its gravity field in unprecedented detail, NASA JPL said in a release.

Scientists will use the gravity field information from the two satellites to X-ray the moon from crust to core to reveal the moon's subsurface structures and, indirectly, its thermal history.

The mission will also answer longstanding questions about Earth's moon, and provide scientists a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed.

Tags:

NASA  GRAIL  

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