NASA Heads Back to Moon
... But it's an unmanned mission to explore the lunar gravity field
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2011 6:39 AM CDT
A Delta 2 rocket carrying the GRAIL probes sits on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – NASA's not done with the moon yet. It launched two unmanned spacecraft today (Grail A and Grail B) to study the lunar gravitational field and interior, reports The $496 million mission has an interesting twist, notes the PopSci blog: a MoonKAM that will allow students to log in, scan the moon's surface, and request particular images for study. The two probes, which lifted off aboard a Delta 2 rocket shortly after 9am EDT, aren't expected to be in place until the end of the year. (If you like your moon missions with astronauts, click here for newly released images of the Apollo era.)