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One Spacecraft Captures Another in Lunar Orbit

This is awesome! It is the first footage of one orbiting robotic spacecraft taken by another orbiting robotic spacecraft at Earth’s moon. “Flow,” one of two satellites making up NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, captured this video of NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) as it flew by at a distance of about 20 kilometers (12 miles) on May 3, 2012. LRO is the single bright pixel that moves from top left to bottom right. The Moon’s south polar region is in the background, much of which is in darkness.

This footage was taken by Flow’s “MoonKam” camera, which is an educational camera run by the GRAIL team and Sally Ride Science.


Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today's Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT's Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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