The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has delayed the launch of its moon probes due to a technical issue with the satellites’ launch vehicle.
The agency’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, or GRAIL, were supposed to leave the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on the unmanned Delta 2 rocket on Friday.
“The postponement will allow the launch team additional time to review the data,” NASA said in a statement.
The twin GRAIL probes will map the moon’s gravity so that scientists can learn what lies beneath the lunar crust and whether the moon’s core is solid, liquid or some combination of the two, Reuters reported.
NASA engineers decided to postpone the launch so that they can review technical data after the Delta 2 rocket was drained of fuel following Thursday’s scrub.
Astronomers expect the probe to reveal how the moon formed and evolved by detecting changes in the tug of lunar gravity as small as one micron.
Scientists hope spotting the moon’s gravity lumps help them find out what is inside the Earth’s natural satellite and the process through which other rocky planets like Earth, Venus, Mars and Mercury — formed.
The $496 million mission is managed by lead scientist Maria Zuber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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