Thursday’s GRAIL mission to the moon launch from pad 37B is the centerpiece around four days of activities/events that will give the general public an in-depth look behind the spacecrafts commissioned to orbit the moon for several months collecting data that will help scientists to better understand the interior structure and thermal evolution of the Moon.
Beginning today, Kennedy Space Center will launch more than two dozen activities for visitors to the visitor’s complex. Some of the activities include: a live webcast where the public can ask GRAIL scientists questions regarding the mission; virtually guide the Exploration Uplink rover based at NASA’s Desert Research and Technology Studies area near Flagstaff, Arizona; sit in on a panel headed by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and Steven Lee on the latest “other world” discoveries; a presentation by principal investigator of the GRAIL mission, Maria Zuber; an “Eyes on the Solar System” demonstration, involving NASA’s new 3D interactive experience to explore the cosmos and travel with robotic space probes; book signing hosted by Apollo astronaut Charlie Duke, Jr.; and an autograph signing by Star Trek’s Princess Uhura, Nichelle Nichols.
To meet the demand of the crowd, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will open its gates at 4:30 a.m ET. Special viewing for the GRAIL launch will be from the NASA Causeway. Cost for the special viewing will be available for only $20 additional per person. Admission tickets are required and is limited to 2,000 guests.