Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Flash of Insight: LCROSS Mission Update - 08.11.2008


*August 11, 2008:* There are places on the Moon where the sun hasn't
shined for millions of years. Dark polar craters too deep for sunlight
to penetrate are /luna incognita/, the realm of the unknown, and in
their inky depths, researchers believe, may lie a treasure of great value.

NASA is about to light one up.

This will an interesting experiment.
I hope they are more successful than our crashing Lunar Prospector into
a crater at the Lunar South Pole.
- LRK -


*September 3, 1999*: On July 31, 1999, NASA's Lunar Prospector
spacecraft dived into a permanently shadowed crater near the Moon's
south pole. Scientists hoped that the crash might liberate up to 40 lb
of water vapor along with a plume of dusty impact debris, proving once
and for all that water exists on the moon. Hundreds of amateur and
professional astronomers watched for signs of the impact using
everything from home-built telescopes to the world's most powerful
observatories. The chances of seeing a cloud of dust kicked up by the
crash were slim and, true to expectations, no one saw or photographed
clear evidence of a dust plume.


If at first you don't succeed, try again, with a bit more technology. :-)
- LRK -

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

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NASA Science News for August 11, 2008

Today's story from Science@NASA tells of NASA's plans to find water on
the Moon by crashing a spacecraft into the lunar surface. The Lunar
CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS for short) is on track
for a 2009 launch and subsequent plunge into a crater near one of the
Moon's poles. Amateur astronomers may be able to observe the impact
through backyard telescopes.


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*Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS)*

The Mission Objectives <> of the
Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) include
confirming the presence or absence of water ice in a permanently
shadowed crater at the Moon�s South Pole. The identification of water is
very important to the future of human activities on the Moon. LCROSS
will excavate the permanently dark floor of one of the Moon�s polar
craters with two heavy impactors early in 2009 to test the theory that
ancient ice lies buried there. The impact will eject material from the
crater�s surface to create a plume that specialized instruments will be
able to analyze for the presence of water (ice and vapor), hydrocarbons
and hydrated materials.

LCROSS will also provide technologies and modular, reconfigurable
subsystems that can be used to support future mission architectures.




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