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Friday, 14 December 2012

NASA to smash its spacecraft INTO THE MOON - will hit a mountain located near the Goldschmidt crater on Monday -

NASA to smash its spacecraft INTO THE MOON - will hit a mountain located near the Goldschmidt crater on Monday - 

The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) ships, Ebb and Flow, will be intentionally crash-landed on the Moon now that their low orbit and fuel levels have ended their mission abilities.

The crash and burn, scheduled for 22.28 GMT on Monday, will hit a mountain located near the Goldschmidt crater, finishing a mission that start on 1 January this year.

"It is going to be difficult to say goodbye," said GRAIL principal investigator Maria Zuber of MIT. "Our little robotic twins have been exemplary members of the GRAIL family, and planetary science has advanced in a major way because of their contributions."

The two craft have generated the highest-resolution gravity field map of any celestial body, which will help boffins understand more about how Earth and other rocky planets in the Solar System formed and evolved.

Just before they impact on the Moon, Ebb and Flow will do one final experiment, firing their main engines until their propellant tanks are empty to show NASA scientists exactly how much fuel they have left. This will help engineers to improve predictions about how much fuel missions need.

"Our lunar twins may be in the twilight of their operational lives, but one thing is for sure, they are going down swinging," said GRAIL project manager David Lehman of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. "Even during the last half of their last orbit, we are going to do an engineering experiment that could help future missions operate more efficiently."

Both spacecraft will hit the surface at 3,760mph, with Ebb going down first, followed 20 seconds later by Flow. NASA won't be able to get images of the crash because the mountain will be in shadow at the time of impact.

"Such a unique end-of-mission scenario requires extensive and detailed mission planning and navigation," said Lehman.


Neglected dog honks for help after being left in truck with two cats, two other dogs

Neglected dog honks for help after being left in truck with two cats, two other dogs - 

A hero dog saved itself and two other dogs and two cats by honking on a truck’s horn to alert neighbours that they were trapped inside, police say.

They allegedly had been held for a week in a movers’ truck.

The muzzled dog was being held inside the cab of the truck in “deplorable conditions and without care,” police said in a news release.

It’s not yet known how the dog was able to honk the horn.

The animals apparently had been put there to escape detection after suspicions were aroused a week earlier at a London residence.

On Dec. 3, the London Human Society received a call raising concern about the welfare of three dogs living in unsanitary conditions at an undisclosed residence. It began an investigation.

However, during the night the owners vacated the home and took the dogs with them to escape officers, police say.

A week later, a concerned citizen notified police that a dog had been sitting inside a movers’ truck, with possibly more dogs in the cargo hold.

An investigation by the London Police Service found three dogs and two cats had been left in the vehicle in deplorable conditions without proper care.

Donna Hebert and Allan Folkins-Wyre have been charged with five counts of cruelty to animals: three for causing an animal to be in distress, one of failing to provide necessary care, and another for failing to provide adequate and appropriate sanitary conditions.

The dogs and cats were seized and are under the care of the London Humane Society.

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