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Originally posted by bjsmi2
reply to post by jazzguy
The million mile trip thing... Something seems suspect thats all !
Originally posted by Illustronic
Since GRAIL is two separate spacecrafts, which will arrive at the moon fuel is the primary concern to be thrifty about. Each spacecraft will have to carry enough fuel to slow them into lunar orbit, not just one, so the slow approach less fuel will be needed, and the smaller Delta 2 could get them high enough in earth orbit for the GRAIL to use celestial navigation instead of rocket power navigation, the moon is going to catch up with them in earth L1 near-gravitational equilibrium.
NASA also does this to confuse people with pedestrian space exploration interest.
I mean what's the hurry, there are no humans aboard and the moon isn't going anywhere. The added bonus is it gives the spacecraft time to shed any tag along earth contamination, that could interfere with the data GRAIL is about to collect.