NASA Prepares to Bombard Moon

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by MacNut, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    In what sounds like the plot of a Bruce Willis movie — but is in fact a real scientific experiment on a grand scale — NASA is preparing to plow a satellite and its booster rocket into the surface of the moon on Friday morning, to see if there is any sign of water in the two dust clouds created by the impacts.

    The spacecraft rapidly approaching the moon right now — at 2,638 m.p.h. — is known as the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS. On Friday morning, as NASA explains in a blog post on the mission Web site:

    Beginning at 6:30 a.m. C.D.T., the LCROSS spacecraft and heavier Centaur upper-stage rocket will execute a series of procedures to separately hurl themselves toward the lunar surface to create a pair of debris plumes that will be analyzed for the presence of water ice. The Centaur is aiming for the Cabeus crater near the moon’s south pole, and scientists expect it to kick up approximately ten kilometers (6.2 miles) of lunar dirt from the crater’s floor.
    As my colleague Kenneth Chang reported in June, the satellite will photograph the rocket’s impact in the polar crater:

    If the plume of debris contains water ice, LCROSS should be able to detect it. It will then quickly send the data back to Earth before it, too, slams into the Moon four minutes later.
    As an article on NASA’s Web site explains, the space agency will be streaming the impacts live on its Web video channel NASA TV and the dust plumes should be visible to anyone with a fairly serious telescope positioned on the right part of our planet:

    The Hubble Space Telescope, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), and hundreds of telescopes great and small on Earth will scrutinize the two plumes, looking for signs of water and the unexpected.

    “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.
  2. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    I just read an article on that and was going to post it. Some NASA simulation video here.
  3. John Doe 57 macrumors 65816

    John Doe 57

    Jan 26, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've been excited about this since I found out a few weeks ago. You would think that US would make it VERY public that they were going to bomb the moon but they really haven't. Then again they didn't make it very public when they tested nukes in space either.
  4. IntheNet macrumors regular


    Oct 6, 2009
    White House said something about bombing Fox News this morning...


    Question: Do we need a permit to bomb the moon?
  5. iOrlando macrumors 68000

    Jul 20, 2008
    wow this was underwhelming.

    I think anything that happens in space is destined to suck for watching on TV. I didnt see sh&#. Just saw video that was of alot of holes updating every 2 seconds and then turn into blackness. WOO
  6. bbotte macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2008
    I have the same opinion, I was disappointed, I saw no 6 mile high plume.
  7. PeteB macrumors 6502a


    Jan 14, 2008
  8. iOrlando macrumors 68000

    Jul 20, 2008
    highlight of the whole thing...

    the major High-Five fail towards the end.
  9. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
  10. iOrlando macrumors 68000

    Jul 20, 2008
    well the kid who got the high-five fail has been twittering that he is going to quit due to emotional distress and his boss (the one who flew out of that control room like a bat out of hell) just got stopped at the mexican border with a ton of crack cocaine in his laptop bag.

    other then that... no news on the event.
  11. bbotte macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2008
    Saw that too, guy just left him hanging!
  12. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    In space, no one can hear you scream..

  13. IntheNet macrumors regular


    Oct 6, 2009

    Between bombing the moon and research to find Saturn's rings think of all the millions in debt passed on to future generations...
  14. skye12 macrumors 65816


    Nov 11, 2006
    Austin, Tx
    We also crashed the six lunar modules on the surface as they were
    jettisoned before the Apollo crews returned to earth after landing on the surface.
    Its not a big deal.

    We need to test for water as we return in the 2020's and set up Lunar living
    facilities. Expect to harvest oxygen and water from the moon itself.
  15. juanm macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2006
    Fury 161
  16. fraserstaple macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2009
    Hey MacNut.
    Myself Fraserstaple and I read your entire posting. The total event - from impact until the dust settles - will last just 120 seconds, but scientists say the experiment will produce valuable information to be collected on nine instruments, including five cameras that capture images in colour, thermal and near-infrared images.Simultaneously, images of the impact will be captured by the companion Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a satellite now circling the moon, as well as the Hubble Space Telescope and terrestrial telescopes. The composition of the material kicked up by theimpact will help scientists deduce whether water is present. Anyways Thanks.
  17. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Wirelessly posted (Nokia 5800 Tube XpressMusic : Mozilla/5.0 (SymbianOS/9.4; U; Series60/5.0 Nokia5800d-1/21.0.101; Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 ) AppleWebKit/413 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/413)

    If we find a tiny bit of water on the moon, I'm not even sure that I'd care.
  18. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    Not even just a tiny bit? :eek: :)

    I looked for the High-Five disaster, but couldn't find it.
    Perhaps it has been edited out to protect the poor sod. :p
  19. iOrlando macrumors 68000

    Jul 20, 2008
    its all over youtube....

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