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Two NASA Probes To Smash Into The Moon...On Purpose!

By: CNN
By: CNN
This undated artist's rendering made available by NASA/JPL-Caltech shows the twin Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft which will map the moon's gravity field. Radio signals traveling between the two spacecraft provide scientists the exact measurements required as well as flow of information not interrupted when the spacecraft are at the lunar farside, not seen from Earth. The result should be the most accurate gravity map of the moon ever made. ??The mission also will answer longstanding questions about Earth's moon, including the size of a possible inner core, and it should provide scientists with a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed. GRAIL is a part of NASA's Discovery Program. ??(AP Photo/NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This undated artist's rendering made available by NASA/JPL-Caltech shows the twin Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft which will map the moon's gravity field. Radio signals traveling between the two spacecraft provide scientists the exact measurements required as well as flow of information not interrupted when the spacecraft are at the lunar farside, not seen from Earth. The result should be the most accurate gravity map of the moon ever made. ??The mission also will answer longstanding questions about Earth's moon, including the size of a possible inner core, and it should provide scientists with a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed. GRAIL is a part of NASA's Discovery Program. ??(AP Photo/NASA/JPL-Caltech)

A pair of robotic twins that have been diligently mapping the moon this year will be going out with a bang.

The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory-- or "GRAIL"-- probes, Ebb and Flow, will crash into a mountain on the moon Monday afternoon.

It will end a fruitful mission to study the surface and composition of the moon.

NASA is crashing the probes, about the size of an apartment washer and dryer, because they're running out of fuel.

It's all according to plan.

NASA says thanks to GRAIL, scientists now have the highest-resolution gravity field map of any celestial body.

And the probes have given scientists unprecedented insight into what's below the surface and how the moon may have formed.


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