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

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Lunar Impact Viewer's Guide

A very early film had folks riding to the Moon in a shell that was shot from Florida, USA.
The Moon is shown with a big bullet hitting in its eye.

Coming up on October 9th, 2009, the Moon is going to get hit again,but maybe not in its eye.

Lunar Impact Viewer's Guide

NASA Science News for October 5, 2009
On Friday morning, Oct. 9th, you can watch a pair of spacecraft crash into the Moon with your own eyes. The purposeful impacts are the climax of NASA's LCROSS mission to unearth signs of water in lunar soil. Today's story tells how and where to look.


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The impact site is crater Cabeus near the Moon's south pole. NASA is guiding the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite ("LCROSS" for short) and its Centaur booster rocket into the crater's floor for a spectacular double-impact designed to "unearth" signs of lunar water.

There are two ways to watch the show.

First, turn on NASA TV. The space agency will broadcast the action live from the Moon, with coverage beginning Friday morning at 3:15 am PDT (10:15 UT). The first hour or so, pre-impact, will offer expert commentary, status reports from mission control, camera views from the spacecraft, and telemetry-based animations.

The actual impacts commence at 4:30 am PDT (11:30 UT). The Centaur rocket will strike first, transforming 2200 kg of mass and 10 billion joules of kinetic energy into a blinding flash of heat and light.

Researchers expect the impact to throw up a plume of debris as high as 10 km.

Close behind, the LCROSS mothership will photograph the collision for NASA TV and then fly right through the debris plume. Onboard spectrometers will analyze the sunlit plume for signs of water (H2O), water fragments (OH), salts, clays, hydrated minerals and assorted organic molecules.


And that brings us to the second way to see the show: Grab your telescope.

"We expect the debris plumes to be visible through mid-sized backyard telescopes—10 inches and larger," says Brian Day of NASA/Ames. Day is an amateur astronomer and the Education and Public Outreach Lead for LCROSS. "The initial explosions will probably be hidden behind crater walls, but the plumes will rise high enough above the crater's rim to be seen from Earth."

The Pacific Ocean and western parts of North America are favored with darkness and a good view of the Moon at the time of impact. Hawaii is the best place to be, with Pacific coast states of the USA a close second. Any place west of the Mississippi River, however, is a potential observing site.

A lot of folks had fun looking for signs of the Lunar Prospector crash into the Moon with little to show for it except the experience of looking up.

Maybe a better chance this time although the Moon will be bright in your telescope.
- LRK -

Adios, Star People
NASA's LCROSS spacecraft is on track to hit a crater on the Moon early Friday. Dwayne Day imagines the mission as a cover for something more belligerent in this short story.


Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

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In today's space news from SpaceRef:

-- White House Star Party Kicks Off Astronomy Events

"A bountiful fall harvest of astronomy events kicks off this week with a star party at the White
House. On Wednesday evening, October 7th, professional and amateur astronomers will set up
more than 20 telescopes on the White House lawn to give President Obama, his family, and a
group of lucky middle-school students an up-close-and-personal look at lunar craters and
mountains, the giant planet Jupiter and its moons, and other celestial wonders. "



WASHINGTON -- NASA is inviting journalists to events this week in Washington and California to observe the twin impacts of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, and its rocket's upper stage as they impact the moon. The goal of the mission is to search for water ice on the moon.

The satellite and upper stage both are scheduled to hit a permanently shadowed crater of the moon, four minutes apart, at 7:30 a.m. and 7:34 a.m. EDT on Friday, Oct. 9. NASA Television coverage begins at 6:30 a.m.

NASA will hold a pre-impact media teleconference on Thursday, Oct. 8 at 2:30 p.m. from NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. NASA will provide a mission update and discuss what to expect as the Centaur upper stage rocket and the LCROSS spacecraft impact
Cabeus crater, near the lunar south pole. Briefing participants on Oct. 8 are:

- Daniel Andrews, LCROSS project manager, Ames
- Anthony Colaprete, LCROSS project scientist and principal investigator, Ames
- Jennifer Heldmann, coordinator for the LCROSS observation campaign, Ames

Live audio of the teleconference will be streamed online at:

Ames also will hold a post-impact news conference at 10 a.m. on Oct. 9 in the center's main auditorium in Building 201. The news conference will be broadcast on NASA TV and the agency's Web site. Briefing participants on Oct. 9 are:

- Daniel Dumbacher, deputy associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington
- Pete Worden, Ames center director
- Daniel Andrews, LCROSS project manager, Ames
- Anthony Colaprete, LCROSS project scientist and principal investigator, Ames
- Jennifer Heldmann, coordinator for the LCROSS observation campaign, Ames

To participate in the Oct. 8 teleconference and the Oct. 9 post-impact news conference, contact Jonas Dino at 650-604-5612 or or Rachel Prucey at 650-604-0643 or

Also on Oct. 9, reporters are invited to the Newseum in Washington to view the LCROSS impacts. The Newseum is located at 555 Pennsylvania Ave., NW. Journalists should arrive by 7 a.m. There will not be an opportunity for questions at the Newseum event, but reporters may
participate by telephone in the 10 a.m. news conference that will take place at Ames.

Reporters interested in attending the Newseum event in Washington should RSVP to Grey Hautaluoma at or
Ashley Edwards at

The NASA Exploration Center at Ames will serve as the press site for the LCROSS impacts. The press site opens to journalists at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8, and will remain open until noon on Friday, Oct. 9. All accredited journalists must sign in at the Exploration Center to receive badges and vehicle passes needed to gain access to the Ames main auditorium for the post-impact news conference.

For more information about LCROSS, visit:

For NASA TV downlink, schedule and streaming video information, visit:




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