coondoggie writes to tell us that NASA has apparently successfully concluded putting the new Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter through its paces. Using vibration and rotation tests NASA scientists were able to determine the center of gravity and were also able to observe the structural integrity during the vibration tests used to simulate launch aboard an Atlas rocket. "It is expected that the LRO will by the end of the year make its way to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for final launch preparations. The orbiter and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, a mission to smack into the moon in search of water ice, are scheduled to launch atop an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida sometime between Feb. 27, 2009 and the end of March 2009."
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