JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– The twin gravity mapping moon probes built at Lockheed Martin in Jefferson County finally have names.
The technical name for the probes is the Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory or GRAIL Spacecraft.
NASA has been calling them “A” and “B” until some suggestions for names from school children were chosen during a contest.
More than 11,000 students competed to have the naming rights for the GRAIL spacecraft.
Fourth graders at Emily Dickenson Elementary School in Bozeman, Mont. won the contest with the names “Ebb” and “Flow.”
“They chose Ebb and Flow because it was the daily example of how the moon’s gravity is working on the Earth,” said GRAIL Principal Investigator Maria Zuber. “We were really impressed that
the students drew their inspiration by researching Grail and its goal of measuring gravity.”
NASA scientists are hoping the GRAIL spacecrafts will resolve a long-standing mystery of what is inside the Earth’s natural satellite and how it got there. GRAIL have been flying to the moon since their joint launch in September.
If the solar-powered probes, built by Lockheed Martin Corp , survive beyond the next lunar eclipse in June, the $496 million mission could be extended for a detailed mapping survey from as close as 15.5 miles above the moon’s surface.
The winning class would be the first school to take pictures of the moon in March with the Moon Kam.