Sunday, October 11, 2009

NASA moon bombing blast for moon ice

NASA's Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) is shown in an artist's rendering - so far photos of the actual impact on the lunar surface have not come through to NASA.

They promised rockets to the moon with explosive views of the lunar pole! They got back fuzzy photos.
In what's been dubbed the LCROSS mission, NASA officials launched two spacecraft straight toward the lunar pole early Friday on a mission to find hidden crater ice.
But the results weren't exactly what scientists predicted.
LCROSS stands for Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite.
Monitoring equipment confirmed that a large empty rocket hull smacked into the moon's surface at 7:31 a.m., followed by a probe equipped with cameras four minutes later, the Associated Press reported.
Instead of the explosive views they expected, screens set up to channel images from the lunar camera to the public on the Internet and in observatories showed fuzz. Scientists had predicted a 6-mile plume of dust that would offer tons of data, but initial images showed just a fuzzy white flash.
In interviews with the Associated Press, NASA scientists were optimistic nonetheless. "This is so cool ... we're thrilled," said Jennifer Heldmann, coordinator for NASA's observation campaign.
LCROSS scientist Anthony Colaprete said images of the plume may still come.
"We saw a crater; we saw a flash, so something had to happen in between," he said, suggesting the plume may have occurred, but not been visible.
Colaprete said light spectrum measurements - which were collected properly - will be more important in determining whether there is some form of water on the moon.
"What matters for us is: What is the nature of the stuff that was kicked up going in?" said NASA project manager Dan Andrews. Read more:

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