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NASA to announce names for twin lunar orbiters

January 17, 2012

NASA is scheduled to announce which of the names submitted by more than 11,000 students from across the nation will be picked for two lunar space probes that will map the moon like never before.

The solar-powered GRAIL twins will give scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory an unprecedented amount of data on the moon, such as its gravitational field, which will allow them to better understand how Earth and other planets in the solar system came to be.

More than 11,000 students from 45 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, took part in a contest to name the twin orbiters, according to NASA.

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Administrators are expected to announce which names made the cut for the mission at a news conference at 10 a.m. PST. The event will be streamed live on the agency's website.

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Probes to study formation of the moon

-- Jason Wells, Times Community News

Twitter: @JasonBretWells

Photo: Data from the solar-powered GRAIL twins, each about the size of a washing machine, will enable scientists to deduce the moon’s structure down to its core and shed light on how Earth and the solar system’s other rocky planets developed. Credit: NASA

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