2012 could be the year of lunar discovery, leading to better understanding of how planets are formed
On December 31, 2011 At 9:32 am
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NASA scientists will be ringing in the New Year by monitoring two space crafts that are about to orbit the moon. The two probes were launched in September. The next few hours will be critical, as the probes need to get into position low over the moon's surface before they begin their 82-day orbit.
Despite the moon's proximity to Earth, scientists say that they know more about Mars than the moon.
The mission is attempting to map the lunar surface and what lies beneath to help scientists understand how planets are formed. The goal is to map the moon's gravity field in great detail. Some scientists say that the moon is in fact made up of two bodies that collided.
The mission is described as being the most important since man landed on the moon over 40 years ago.