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Weather delays NASA launch of twin satellites bound for moon

Tajikistan Materials 8 September 2011 18:30
The scheduled launch Thursday of twin satellites aboard a rocket on a mission to unveil the inner secrets of the moon, was delayed for 24 hours, US space agency NASA said
Weather delays NASA launch of twin satellites bound for moon

The scheduled launch Thursday of twin satellites aboard a rocket on a mission to unveil the inner secrets of the moon, was delayed for 24 hours, US space agency NASA said, dpa reported.

"Upper level winds in the unacceptable range have delayed the Grail launch by 24 hours," a NASA statement said.

Once launched, the two small Grail spacecraft - which are about the size of washing machines - will fly in formation above the moon's surface in a bid to map its gravity.

"Trying to understand how the moon formed, and how it evolved over its history, is one of the things we're trying to address with the Grail mission," said researcher Maria Zuber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

By measuring variations in gravity across the moon's surface over three months, astronomers hope to learn how the interior formed and that information should also provide clues about how all rocky planets formed, Zuber said.

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