It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
The Grail team will use the twin probes' measurements to construct highly detailed maps of the lunar gravity field. These maps should help scientists plan out future lunar landings, of both robotic and manned spacecraft, officials have said
OK.... but what are they doing there now? Oh yes of course, they are calibrating the instruments, I see.
The NASA website for this moon mission says the actual measuring of gravity won't start until March 2012.
No, the flight path is not that accurate. The ranging system between the two craft are precise enough to measure a change in distance with that accuracy. They will, by way of necessity, deviate in distance from each other by far more than that. But given how accurately their orbits can be determined, the ranging system will allow a very precise measurement of how much of the change in distance is due to the local gravity field.
Originally posted by Illustronic
What is interesting about the tandem spacecrafts is the accuracy in their flight path around the moon to make these measurements, described as being able to orbit at a distance from each other to the point of not deviating by more than the distance of a human red blood cell.