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A space mission blasted off from Cape Canaveral today carrying a missile that will fire a hole deep in the lunar surface.
But this is no gung-ho display of firepower – it is actually a serious quest for water.
Nasa scientists expect the blast to send out a plume of debris visible from Earth.
They want to see if any water or vapour is revealed in the huge space cloud.
LCROSS, on the other hand, will guide an empty upper stage on a collision course with a permanently shaded crater in an effort to kick up evidence of water at the moon's poles. LCROSS itself will also impact the lunar surface during its course of study.
Originally posted by BetweenMyths
reply to post by KRISKALI777
According to this article the mission will cost $583 million.
Before humans contemplated charting a path to the stars, early explorers used the stars to chart routes to the unknown: new fishing grounds, ports of trade and uncharted lands.
The NASA Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission and NASA Quest are inviting students in grades 5-8 to participate in part one of the NASA Quest Challenge: "Exploration Through Navigation." This two-part challenge asks students the question, "How will you stay on course?"
The first part of the challenge follows the lead of the ancient Polynesians, who charted a course from the Big Island of Hawaii to the Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, a treacherous 4,500-mile route across open ocean. These early navigators loaded their families and meager provisions into ocean-going canoes with the stars in the sky as their guide. The slightest navigation error meant almost certain doom.
The unmanned LCROSS mission – it stands for Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite – will fire a Centaur rocket into the surface at twice the speed of a bullet.
An accompanying spacecraft will orbit the moon for a year looking for possible landing sites for astronauts.
Originally posted by peacejet
reply to post by heineken
Take a look at the LCROSS website.
There was a video some time back in the NASA website regarding public participation to view the impact. I couldnt find the video. But on the impact date and time, take you telescope or binocular and focus on the southern pole of the moon. And you will be able to see a brief glow from the impact.
Note to everyone:LRO and LCROSS are completely different missions with different objectives; launched on the same rocket. Not to be confused as one single mission.
[edit on June 18th, 2009 by peacejet]
The Shepherding Spacecraft and Centaur rocket are launched together with another spacecraft called the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). All three are connected to each other for launch, but then the LRO separates one hour after launch. The Shepherding Spacecraft guides the Centaur rocket through multiple Earth orbits, each taking about 38 days. The rocket then separates from the Shepherding Spacecraft and impacts the Moon at more than twice the speed of a bullet, causing an impact that results in a big plume or cloud of lunar debris, and possibly water.