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NASA spacecraft slams into dark side of the moon as planned

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posted on Apr, 21 2014 @ 12:51 PM
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At roughly 12:30AM ET early on Friday morning, a soda machine-sized NASA spacecraft slammed into the far side of the moon at 3,600 miles per hour. The impact was entirely planned by NASA engineers in order to conclude the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) program, which launched late last year. After studying the composition of the lunar atmosphere for months, the spacecraft didn't have the fuel to continue flight and engineers decided it was best to place it down on the far side of the moon, out of sight and far from previous historic landing sites.


Out of sight?

Out of sight of whom? Or what? Why?

I would have preferred if the article used the term Farside vs. Dark side but you know how those masses are...it's all Dark side to them...

On a serious note - what are members thoughts regarding the practice of slamming spacecraft into the moon? Or other celestial objects for that matter...

There doesn't seem to be any scientific purpose for doing this in this instance. So I guess someone thought it was a cool thing to do vs. just letting the craft drift into space? If so, why on Farside?

This whole story leaves me perplexed on many levels. If anyone can shed some more light on this, that would be great...

These "little" stories that seem to beg to fly under the radar often capture my interest for that reason alone.

Source article

Better article from NY Times




posted on Apr, 21 2014 @ 01:08 PM
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a reply to: Riffrafter




On a serious note - what are members thoughts regarding the practice of slamming spacecraft into the moon? Or other celestial objects for that matter... - See more at: www.abovetopsecret.com...


My guess is that when it ran out of fuel there really isn't too much one can do about where it lands.

Although it was probably planned before the mission started as a safe guard against landing near the Apollo sites.



just letting the craft drift into space? If so, why on Farside? - See more at: www.abovetopsecret.com...


Well it gives the Aliens on that side a little trash to pick up when they have to do community service.



posted on Apr, 21 2014 @ 01:31 PM
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originally posted by: Riffrafter


On a serious note - what are members thoughts regarding the practice of slamming spacecraft into the moon? Or other celestial objects for that matter...

There doesn't seem to be any scientific purpose for doing this in this instance. So I guess someone thought it was a cool thing to do vs. just letting the craft drift into space? If so, why on Farside?


The satellite was already in (very low) orbit around the moon. Why would you want to waste your last remaining fuel reserves in blasting it out into space rather than just letting it hit the surface? Plus there is the fact that they know it is not now drifting around in space where it could hit something else.

I don't see that slamming a small satellite into the moon is doing much harm. It's not like it's a natural habitat that we are damaging for any other critters. Think of it as creating an archeological site for generations to come!



posted on Apr, 21 2014 @ 01:50 PM
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a reply to: tsurfer2000h




My guess is that when it ran out of fuel there really isn't too much one can do about where it lands.


Definitely makes sense in a perfectly plausible sort of way. But there's something about this mission/story/event that keeps nagging at me...




Although it was probably planned before the mission started as a safe guard against landing near the Apollo sites.


But wouldn't the chances of that happening be incredibly remote? I know the moon is much smaller than Earth but it isn't "that* small. And what do they get out of crashing it on farside? Is there any kind of planned follow-up to see the effects? If not, seems to be a wasted opportunity...




Well it gives the Aliens on that side a little trash to pick up when they have to do community service.


Well, there's always that...


Wait....ummm...what?!




posted on Apr, 21 2014 @ 02:11 PM
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Perhaps 'they' wanted to find out if the moon still 'rings like a bell' when hit by something solid, such as metal, rather than 'soft' rock?



posted on Apr, 21 2014 @ 03:32 PM
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www.newscientist.com...

Since LADEE could not come home, NASA intentionally crashed the probe into the far side of the moon, away from historically important sites like the Apollo landing zones.


science.slashdot.org...

"NASA's policy is to treat the locations of the Moon landings as historical sites, and it takes pains to preserve them from possible damage. LADEE didn't have the fuel to control its orbit indefinitely. As a result, the controllers had been preparing to terminate the probe for several weeks. ... The exact moment of impact isn't clear, since the precise terrain it hit couldn't be determined in advance. (If it hit a ridge, it would have happened earlier than if LADEE plowed across a plain. What is clear is that the impact destroyed the probe."


That explain it all, in my opinion. With fuel running out, it's better to have it impact on the Far Side rather than endanger any of the landing sites (this includes not only Apollo but also Surveyor, Luna and Lunokhod, and perhaps some other landers that I'm forgetting). Debris from an impact like this can travel for miles.

Although the impact location is "out of sight", I'm sure there will be new LRO images showing the impact location, maybe even a crater.



posted on Apr, 21 2014 @ 03:45 PM
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a reply to: Rob48




Plus there is the fact that they know it is not now drifting around in space where it could hit something else.


Assuming they blasted it out into space away from Earth, what else could it hit?



posted on Apr, 21 2014 @ 04:23 PM
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originally posted by: Helious
a reply to: Rob48


Assuming they blasted it out into space away from Earth, what else could it hit?


The secret Nazi space station in synchronous orbit on the far side, of course!

No, seriously, it was just me speculating, really. They do try to account for hardware and it is better to know it crashed into crater X on the moon rather than "it's out there... somewhere".

But the primary reason, I'm sure, is that it is a lot easier to crash it into the moon. Why the far side? Well, it's got to be one of the two sides. Why not?
edit on 21-4-2014 by Rob48 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 21 2014 @ 04:27 PM
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originally posted by: Helious
a reply to: Rob48




Plus there is the fact that they know it is not now drifting around in space where it could hit something else.


Assuming they blasted it out into space away from Earth, what else could it hit?


The Earth's gravitational influence is strong enough that anything (smaller than the Earth) that get's within about 1.5 million miles, will be pulled on by the Earth. More than likely the craft certainly did not have enough fuel to give it enough delta V to leave lunar and Earth orbit (there by putting it in orbit around the sun).

Even if they did, it would still be close to the Earth's orbit, and could therefor end up intersecting with the Earth at some point.

By using what little fuel it had left, they were able to direct it somewhere where it would not pose a future problem for anyone (Earth, the near side of the moon, lunar orbit, Earth orbit, etc).

While it would have been cool to have it impact on the near side, so it could be observed by us here on Earth, the ejecta from the impact could possibly go far enough to disturb the historical sites that are on the near side (not just Apollo, but all space missions by both the US and the USSR).



posted on Apr, 21 2014 @ 04:29 PM
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LADEE's mission was to measure the lunar exosphere.

it was going to crash into the moon anyway, due to both the drag from the lunar exosphere, and the lopsided gravity of the moon that can cause orbits to decay.

it did its job and was safely disposed of



posted on Apr, 21 2014 @ 04:39 PM
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If it was Mars, there would certainly be an intent on crashing probes on the planet, perhaps even asteroids. That would be to bring about terraforming. Mars is thought to have a molten core as opposed to Earths solid core, molten interior and then mantle. The heating of mars by the various means could take much less time that you might imagine. More reading here;

en.wikipedia.org...

Someone has mentioned about may as well put this probe into the Moon rather than waste fuel, I don't see that rationale, however I do see that if there was remaining fuel, then that would leave the Moon in a somewhat altered state.
Just to add, bombing the Moon has already been done, and that was deliberate. I see no reason other than to think that this was deliberate too.



edit on 21-4-2014 by smurfy because: Text.



posted on Apr, 21 2014 @ 05:12 PM
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a reply to: Riffrafter

Or they wanted to destroy some ruins that they claim do not exist?.
The last time a nasa craft impacted the moon there were claims that it was used to destroy a rectangular structure and there were actually images such as one were an image was surreptitiously captured on an exposed large luner photograph an a nasa scientists desk during an interview, I won't get into it and lead it off thread but there is another interpretation to nasa littering the moon with spent space part's and the kinetic energy alone even if that was an innert object would be devastating.



posted on Apr, 21 2014 @ 06:11 PM
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a reply to: eriktheawful




The Earth's gravitational influence is strong enough that anything (smaller than the Earth) that get's within about 1.5 million miles, will be pulled on by the Earth. More than likely the craft certainly did not have enough fuel to give it enough delta V to leave lunar and Earth orbit (there by putting it in orbit around the sun).

Even if they did, it would still be close to the Earth's orbit, and could therefor end up intersecting with the Earth at some point. - See more at: www.abovetopsecret.com...


Hmm, I didn't know that. Seems that the article mentioned it was the size of a soda machine so I would think it would completely burn up in Earth's Atmosphere but maybe the prospect of it taking out an existing satellite was a risk they didn't want to take. Besides, I fail to see what impact (no pun intended) a downed satellite could make on the moon so it makes sense.



posted on Apr, 21 2014 @ 07:11 PM
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a reply to: Rob48




I don't see that slamming a small satellite into the moon is doing much harm.


I agree and actually think/know there's an awful lot you can learn by doing this. But this one seemed if not unplanned at least half-assed in that there didn't seem to be any effort to collect any data from the collision, now or in the future. And the whole reason for doing it on farside seems...well...contrived at best. Out of sight? Not hit any of the Apollo sites? Yeah...umm...OK.



Think of it as creating an archeological site for generations to come!


True. But would that be the Russians, or the Chinese or the Indians or another player to be named later?

The U.S. plans (or lack thereof) with respect to the moon is beyond mystifying.



posted on Apr, 21 2014 @ 08:39 PM
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a reply to: Riffrafter

Well then, let us look at it another way:

What would you have done with it?

Keep in mind, it's about the size of a soda machine, and you only have enough fuel left in it for a retro burn for it to crash, not descend (take a lot more fuel than it had to do that), and if you burn prograde, you would only add a little bit of altitude, with it still in a low orbit, where over time, the moon's gravity would pull it down.

So, give us your opinion on what they should have done with it.


edit on 21-4-2014 by eriktheawful because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 22 2014 @ 06:15 PM
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a reply to: eriktheawful

That's a fair question.

I'm not sure I would have done anything differently but there are some oddities here that nag at me.

The "planning" regarding having it impact farside. If it was so well planned, why was there no coordination with other satellites (like LRO) to image and/or analyze the impact? There's much to be learned by an impact...

And again - why Farside? If this was so well planned I'm sure they could have just as easily had it come down on nearside and avoided the lunar landing sites. It may also have made the job of collecting data from the impact/crash easier. And if you're going to crash it on farside, why not make every effort to get every bit of data & info you can? See planning above..

I'm not saying there's some grand conspiracy here related to this mission. It may be exactly as it seems or we've been told. But these "smaller" stories that seemed designed to fly under the radar but yet still don't seem quite right always capture my attention. God (and/or the devil) is usually hiding in the details.

I don't expect NASA to be perfect, but they do tend to plan things to death and also to try & squeeze every bit of utility out of their precious few assets in space. Seems they were lacking in both of those areas in this case. And that is unlike NASA...and that nags at me.

Plus, anything having to do with Farside is cool and extremely interesting. We still seem to know so little about it. Which of course, also nags at me...





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