Parting shots from GRAIL Lunar Mission....

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  • Three days before the moon-orbiting Ebb spacecraft collided with a lunar mountain, its on-board cameras captured some striking images of the pockmarked moon’s northern hemisphere — from just six miles up. On Jan. 10, NASA released what look like scenes from a science fiction movie: two probe’s-eye views of the lunar farside, made from Ebb’s stitched-together images.

    The clips are played six times faster than the spacecraft’s flyover actually occurred. The first was shot by the forward-facing MoonKAM, and the second was taken by a rear-facing camera.

    Ebb was one of the twin GRAIL spacecraft tasked with mapping the moon’s gravity field — a successful mission that came to an end in December. The images used to create this flyover video were shot on Dec. 14 as the washing machine-size probes began final preparations for the mission’s planned end. On Dec. 17, the twins crashed into a mountainous crater rim near the lunar north pole, a site which is now named after astronaut Sally Ride.

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