Bull’s-eye: NASA probes strike moon’s south pole

October 9, 2009

(ChattahBox) — The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) booster rocket successfully smacked into the Cabeus crater at 7:31:53 am ET this morning sending up a plume of lunar dust with the twin impacts. The $79 million mission aims to break up any lunar ice trapped underneath, propelling it above the moon’s surface, allowing NASA to detect the water molecules.

A 2,200kg rocket stage was first to collide at 5,600 miles per hour, excavating about 350 metric tons of the moon and leaving behind a hole about 65 feet wide, 13 feet deep. Trailing four minutes behind, a second unmanned spacecraft packed with science instruments analyzed the contents of this dusty cloud before it also crashed into the Moon. NASA will release briefing information on the impacts extent at 10 am ET, however it will take a couple of weeks to analyze the data to identify water and other components. Finding sources of water on the moon would make future lunar missions easier and less costly, if there is no need to transport water from Earth.  To the many readers who humorously commented on our preview story of this event here, good news, the sky is not falling (so far).

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Comments

2 Responses to “Bull’s-eye: NASA probes strike moon’s south pole”

  1. Chattahfan on October 9th, 2009 8:29 am

    I think I just saw a big hunk of cheese fall in my backyard!

  2. Old Man Dotes on October 9th, 2009 11:47 am

    I am amused by any number of responses, but the best one yet is on Twitter:

    RT: @drew: RT @DotEd: A Moon approaches!
    NASA uses Probe+1.
    2 Hit Combo!
    Moon -3 HP
    It’s not very effective.
    Moon escapes.
    You find a Water.

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