From the ABC 7 Weather team

New NASA Named Spaceships & You May Be Surprised Who Got To Name Them

January 18, 2012 - 08:20 PM
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Twin NASA spaceships recently completed orbit around the moon. Thanks to middle school kids, the spaceships have new names.

Have you ever wanted to name a NASA spaceship?  Well, middle school students at Emily Dickinson Elementary School in Bozeman, Montana can knock that off their bucket-list.  Here's a snapshot of the smiling bunch.

Students from across the nation submitted possible names for twin NASA spaceships, formerly named GRAIL-A and GRAIL-B.  Over 900 classrooms and 11,000 students from 45 states participated in the name search!  So what are the new names?  "Ebb and Flow" are the winners! 

Jim Green, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division in Washington says,  "These spacecraft represent not only great science, but great inspiration for our future.  As they study our lunar neighbor, Ebb and Flow will undergo nearly the same motion as the tides we feel here on Earth.”

GRAIL stands for Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory.  So what does GRAIL do?  Well, it's NASA's first planetary mission focused on education and public outreach.  The hope is to get the public more involved through the "MoonKam".  This feature will allow students to capture pictures of the moon's surface. 

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Ultimately, scientists are hoping this will engage the public, as well as help give better understanding to how our solar system formed. 

Congratulations, Emily Dickinson students! 

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