GRAIL Spacecraft Takes Shape

July 29, 2010
Engineers conduct checks on one of NASA's GRAIL spacecraft in the Space Support Building at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver.

(PhysOrg.com) -- 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 image was taken on June 29, 2010, during the propulsion subsystem assembly and integration effort in the Space Support Building clean room at Space Systems in Denver.

The GRAIL mission will fly twin spacecraft (spacecraft "A" and "B") in tandem orbits around the moon for several months to measure its in unprecedented detail. The mission will also answer longstanding questions about Earth's moon, and provide scientists a better understanding of how Earth and other in the solar system formed.

Explore further: New NASA Mission to Reveal Moon's Internal Structure and Evolution

More information: For more information about GRAIL, please visit: moon.mit.edu

Related Stories

Juno Taking Shape in Denver

April 6, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Assembly has begun on NASA's Juno spacecraft, which will help scientists understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter. The mission, whose principal investigator is Scott Bolton of Southwest Research Institute ...

Dawn Glides Into New Year

November 21, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's Dawn spacecraft shut down its ion propulsion system today as scheduled. The spacecraft is now gliding toward a Mars flyby in February of next year.

Dawn Mission Status: Spacecraft Tests Ion Engine

October 10, 2007

NASA's Dawn spacecraft successfully completed the first test of its ion propulsion system over the weekend. The system is vital to the success of Dawn's 8-year, 1.6 billion-mile (3-billion-kilometer) journey to asteroid Vesta ...

Recommended for you

Fast radio bursts may be firing off every second

September 21, 2017

When fast radio bursts, or FRBs, were first detected in 2001, astronomers had never seen anything like them before. Since then, astronomers have found a couple of dozen FRBs, but they still don't know what causes these rapid ...

Ageing star blows off smoky bubble

September 20, 2017

Astronomers have used ALMA to capture a strikingly beautiful view of a delicate bubble of expelled material around the exotic red star U Antliae. These observations will help astronomers to better understand how stars evolve ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.