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Mission GRAIL

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Prepared to launch the mission GRAIL, which kartografiruet strange "irregularities" in the gravitational field of our satellite. Let us learn about Maria Zuber (Maria Zuber) - she MIT professor (MIT), and it devoted itself "Holy Grail". True, not a Christian shrine, which amounted to search for the meaning of life of many famous knights. A new lunar mission, NASA, whose name - Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory ( "laboratory for the study of gravity and bowels") - it is declining as GRAIL. The device, which is scheduled for launch in 2011, will investigate unusual lunar gravitational field. "We measure the surface of its subsoil it to the center", - promises Maria Zuber. Mission GRAIL is a pair of twins-machines, which will be withdrawn at okololunnuyu orbit one another more, the distance from one to another will be continually measured with high accuracy, using microwave rangefinder. This tiny changes in the distance flown over a given area of the Moon will enable a detailed map of its gravitational field. What with the gravity of our satellite "not all right", knows quite a long time: even the Soviet probes "Luna" (he was in 1959-1965.) And American Lunar Orbiter (in 1966-1972 he was.) Recorded in its gravitational field strange "irregularities". It is believed that serve as major sources of their "maskony" (short for the phrase "mass concentration"), hidden under the surface of lunar seas. Lunar Sea - craters formed many millions of years ago as a result of falling on a large satellite asteroids. And currently they are doing maskony lunar gravitational field the most "ingenious" among all the major bodies of the Solar System: plumb-line at the border maskona deviated from the vertical by about 0.3 degrees towards its center. And, for example, the astronaut in full ammunition on the Moon will weigh 22.7 kilograms - but over the center maskona will add another 113 g. Such influence is quite significant, if we talk about the work of satellites in orbit selenocentric: maskony can influence their trajectory. That is why the mission GRAIL importance for the future development of the Moon is hard to overestimate. In fact, without it impossible to construct a permanent base on it, nor its normal functioning. For such a satellite map of the dangerous gravitational field is just as important, both for the ships - map currents, shoals and reefs. Moreover, so far gravity in polar areas and on the reverse side of the satellite map is much worse than convenient for observation regions. "After the" Holy Grail "we will be able to open for the entire Moon. The mission is the most detailed and precise map of global gravitational field available to date - better than even for the Earth ", - promises Maria Zuber. Incidentally, GRAIL and serves another important task: education. At each of a pair of satellites will be installed several cameras, which will manage the students and schoolchildren - and watch flying over the Moon with such close range, which until now they could only have an in a dream.
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