Players can create rockets, aircraft, spaceplanes, rovers, and other craft from a provided set of components. Once built, the craft can be launched by players from the KSC launch pad or runway, or other launch pads and runways around Kerbin, in an attempt to complete player-set or game-directed missions while avoiding partial or catastrophic failure (such as lack of fuel or structural failure). Players control their spacecraft in three dimensions with little assistance other than a stability system called “SAS” to keep their rocket oriented. Provided it maintains sufficient thrust and fuel, a spacecraft can enter orbit or even travel to other celestial bodies. To visualize vehicle trajectory, the player must switch into map mode; this displays the orbit or trajectory of the player vehicle, as well as the position and trajectory of other spacecraft and planetary bodies. These planets and other vehicles can be targeted to view information needed for rendezvous and docking, such as ascending and descending nodes, target direction, and relative velocity to the target. While in map mode, players can also access maneuver nodes to plan out trajectory changes in advance.
The GRAIL mission was managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The mission was part of the Discovery Program managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
The team's findings can also be applied to exoplanets, which are planets that circle stars beyond our own Sun. Some super-Earth exoplanets, which are rocky planets more massive than our own, have been proposed as "water worlds" covered with churning oceans. Could they have life? Perhaps. The potential would certainly be there. Dr. Vance and his team believe laboratory experiments and more sophisticated modeling of exotic oceans might help to find answers to these very profound questions.
As of December 2015, confirmed liquid water in our own Solar System--excluding Earth--accounts for about 25 to 50 times the volume of our planet's water. The moons of our Sun's family thought to possess liquid water are: