Fly me to the Moon
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla
14-01-2013 18:31 CST
I've been remiss in not posting this video before. It's an absolutely wonderful view -- two views, actually -- shot from two spaceships just days before they crashed onto the Moon. At an altitude of 10 kilometers, the GRAIL spacecraft were flying no higher above the lunar surface than humans routinely fly over Earth on commercial jets.
The videos were shot by GRAIL's MoonKAMs, two tiny cameras whose sole function was education and public outreach (a phrase that an acronym-happy NASA always shortens to "EPO"). While active, they had a primarily education function; classrooms of fifth- to eighth-grade students could apply for the opportunity to select targets for MoonKAM, and thousands of kids participated. But these videos are decidedly on the public outreach end of things. I challenge anyone to watch that video and not, for a moment at least, imagine themselves in the ship, flying over the Moon.