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NASA's GRAIL Mission Lifts Off
NASA's GRAIL twin spacecraft await launch atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket NASA's GRAIL twin spacecraft await launch atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Image credit: NASA
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Status update: Sept. 10, 2011

-- Engineers have received communications from both GRAIL spacecraft, and their solar arrays have deployed.

-- NASA's twin GRAIL spacecraft have successfully separated from the upper stage of their Delta II rocket. They are on their way to the moon.

-- The rocket nose cone, or fairing, carrying NASA's GRAIL spacecraft has been jettisoned, as planned.

-- NASA's GRAIL spacecraft, headed to the moon, have lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket.

-- Winds prevented a launch at 5:29 a.m. PDT (8:29 a.m. EDT), so the team will try for the second launch opportunity at 6:08 a.m. PDT (9:08 a.m. EDT).

Launch Postponed Until Saturday - 09.08.11

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- The launch of a Delta II rocket carrying NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) has been postponed one day to allow additional time to review propulsion system data from Thursday's detanking operation after the launch attempt was scrubbed due to upper level winds. The postponement will allow the launch team additional time to review the data.

The launch now is planned for Saturday, Sept. 10, from Space Launch Complex-17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. There are two instantaneous launch opportunities at 8:29:45 a.m. and 9:08:52 a.m. EDT (5:29:45 a.m. and 6:08:52 a.m. PDT). The forecast for Sept. 10 shows a 60 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for a Saturday morning launch.

More information about GRAIL is online at: http://www.nasa.gov/grail and http://grail.nasa.gov .

DC Agle 818-393-9011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Dwayne Brown 202-358-1726
NASA Headquarters, Washington

George Diller 321-867-2468
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.