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Doomed Satellite’s Final Act Was To Film the Moon’s Surface From Just 30,000 Feet Above

Get a jet airliner's view of the surface of the Moon



Just under a month ago, NASA set two twin satellites—Ebb and Flow—careening into the surface of the Moon to their final resting place, where they splattered all over a mountain near the lunar north pole. But, in a last minute gift, cameras mounted to Ebb captured this stunning footage of the little satellite cruising over the surface. The satellite, which was passing over the Moon’s dark side, was flying around 6 miles (30,000 feet) above the surface. So, this view is the lunar equivalent of what you’d get if you were riding in a commercial airliner through the Earth’s atmosphere.

Before they were smashed into a mountain, Ebb and Flow had been studying the subtle variations in the Moon’s gravity.

More from Smithsonian.com:

T Minus Three Days Until NASA Sends Two Satellites Crashing Into the Moon

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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