2nd NASA probe en route to moon on New Year's Day


This undated artist rendering provided by NASA shows the twin Grail spacecraft mapping the lunar gravity field. (AP Photo/NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

Published: Sunday, January 1, 2012 at 5:24 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 1, 2012 at 5:24 p.m.

LOS ANGELES - A NASA spacecraft has begun firing its engine to enter orbit around the moon.

If all goes as planned, it will join its twin, which has been circling the moon since New Year's Eve.

Together, the probes will embark on the first mission devoted to mapping lunar gravity.

On New Year's Day, the Grail-B spacecraft swooped over the moon's south pole and executed a 40-minute maneuver to brake into orbit.

Deep space antennas are tracking the probe's progress.

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