Lunar missions are known to be the subject to the exceptionally disuniform gravity. GRAIL generated a very high resolution gravity map of Luna.

Will any missions to Luna in the near future (say, upto 2017) use the GRAIL data?


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According to this site, the lunar gravity model from the GRAIL mission is set to be released next month(!!). That said, these models tend to be a fairly standard format ("Spherical Harmonic ASCII Models"), and typically are easy to "swap out" with one another. While I'm sure there is interesting science that can be done with the data, gravity field models are most often used in orbit design.

So, assuming the GRAIL data is as good as it is hoped to be, I would expect that the next lunar mission for which analysis begins after the model is released would use the GRAIL model, since more precision is always a good thing from an orbit/mission design standpoint. The reason for that bolded part is that changing something as integral to the analysis as a gravity model is a bit risky, and might not be done in the middle of a development cycle.


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