Published January 01, 2012| Space.com
The first of two NASA spacecraft to study the moon in unprecedented detail has entered lunar orbit.
A spacecraft successfully completed its planned main engine burn at 2 p.m. PST Saturday, according to NASA's Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL).
As of 3 p.m. PST, GRAIL-A is in a 56-mile by 5,197-mile orbit around the moon that takes approximately 11.5 hours to complete.
The spacecraft are on a mission to map lunar gravity in unprecedented detail, shedding light on the moon's composition, formation and evolution.
"Our team may not get to partake in a traditional New Year's celebration, but I expect seeing our two spacecraft safely in lunar orbit should give us all the excitement and feeling of euphoria anyone in this line of work would ever need," said GRAIL project manager David Lehman, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., in a statement.Twin NASA Probes Have New Year's Date With The Moon | Fox News