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Storms May Stall Launch Of Twin Spacecraft To Moon

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(NASA TV) An unmanned Delta II rocket will launch twin spacecraft to study the moon's gravity.

(NASA TV) An unmanned Delta II rocket will launch twin spacecraft to study the moon’s gravity.

End Of An Era

CAPE CANAVERAL (CBS4) – There may be a delay in NASA’s quest to return to the moon. Four decades after landing men on the moon, NASA plans to launch a set of robotic twin spacecraft that will measure lunar gravity while chasing one another in circles. However, bad weather may delay the launch.

The two spacecraft — Grail-A and Grail-B — are due to blast off aboard an unmanned Delta II rocket Thursday morning from Cape Canaveral. There are two launch windows Thursday. The first is 8:37 a.m. and the second is 9:16 a.m. however, forecasters say there’s a 60 percent chance that storms will delay the flight. The weather should improve this weekend.

NASA is sending the probes on a 9-month mission to explore Earth’s nearest neighbor in unprecedented detail. They will determine the structure of the lunar interior from crust to core and advance our understanding of the thermal evolution of the moon.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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