Probe's death spiral returns stunning video of the Moon's surface

NASA's Discovery Program launched the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission in 2011 to map the Moon's gravity field in never before captured detail. Last month, as the mission's GRAIL-A (Ebb) spacecraft prepared to crash onto the Moon's surface, it managed to capture stunning images of the Moon's surface.

The probes, which orbited the Moon for about a year, eventually crashed onto the Moon's surface on December 17 at an impact site now named after the late astronaut Sally Ride (America's first woman in space). However, before the Ebb spacecraft crashed, it recorded imagery of its flyover using its MoonKAM (Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students).

GRAIL team members were able to later piece together 2,400 individual frames from the flyover to create an uninterrupted two-minute video showing off what the Moon looks like from about six miles above its surface.

You can check out the silent, but nonetheless stunning views of the Moon in the video below.


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