Last month, NASA crashed its twin spacecraft from its GRAIL mission into the moon, but not before it turning on the cameras for some final footage as it orbited around the lunar surface.
NASA recently released the video of shots taken with the on-board camera just days before the spacecraft went out of commission.
Here’s more about the footage from the video’s description:
This video of the moon was taken by the NASA GRAIL mission’s MoonKAM (Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students) camera aboard the Ebb spacecraft on Dec. 14, 2012.
At the time the images were taken, the spacecraft were about 6 miles above the northern hemisphere of the moon’s far side, in the vicinity of the Jackson impact crater. This imagery was acquired as part of a final checkout of spacecraft equipment prior to its planned impact on a mountain near the moon’s north pole on Dec. 17.
Check out the surface of the moon from spacecraft’s perspective:
The spacecraft dubbed “Ebb” and “Flo,” which were launched in 2011 as part of the work conducted by the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, made impact with a mountain near the moon’s north pole on Dec. 17, 2012. The impact site was named after Sally Ride, who had worked on the GRAIL mission.
“Sally was all about getting the job done, whether it be in exploring space, inspiring the next generation, or helping make the GRAIL mission the resounding success it is today,” GRAIL principal investigator Maria Zuber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge said in a statement. “As we complete our lunar mission, we are proud we can honor Sally Ride’s contributions by naming this corner of the moon after her.”
According to NASA, the pair was intentionally landed on the moon because they didn’t have sufficient altitude or fuel to continue with the mission.