OK…that headline might be a bit on the dramatic side…NASA is calling it an impact…but in any event, a pretty cool event is taking place this Friday, October 9, beginning at 6:15 AM EDT. And by now, you loyal readers should know about our affinity for all things space related…from our company name and founder’s initials to out of this world company events, so covering a live event that answers an ages old question about the moon seems pretty newsworthy to us.
Here are the most important excerpts from the official NASA LRO/LCROSS Press Kit:
“One of the first steps in NASA’s 21st century lunar endeavor will be the launch of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, missions that will help to set the stage for future exploration and scientific research.
Although LRO will remotely sense evidence of resources such as water ice in cold regions of the moon, the LRO launch will also carry another spacecraft, LCROSS, which will directly determine if water ice occurs in an area of permanent shadow near the lunar poles.
LCROSS is a spectacular mission that is taking a novel approach at answering a lingering scientific question: does water ice exist on the moon? If the answer is yes, it could potentially be a useful resource for future exploration. LCROSS represents a new generation of fast development, cost-capped missions that use off-the-shelf hardware and flight-proven software to achieve focused mission goals. LCROSS also uses the spent second stage of the Atlas rocket, the Centaur, as an SUV-sized kinetic impactor – something that has never been done before – to excavate a small crater in the bottom of a permanently shadowed lunar crater. Whatever LCROSS discovers about the presence of water, it will increase our knowledge of the mineralogical makeup of some of the most remote areas of the moon — deep polar craters where sunshine never reaches. People around the world will take part in observation campaigns to witness the mission’s historic twin impacts on the lunar surface and their results. These companion missions, launched together on an Atlas V rocket, will mark the return of NASA to the moon and usher in a new era of scientific exploration of our sister in the solar system.”
That witness link above shows all the “impact events” scheduled should you wish to attend one in person rather than watching it on NASA TV. For our local readers, check out what Northern Illinois University (Go Huskies!) is doing at the Davis Observatory.
And for complete details on the LCROSS mission, events, and facts, visit:
While you’re visiting NASA’s site, or perhaps to set the stage for your own Impact Event, you might want to have this playing.
Lastly, tip of our hat to NASA…keep boldly going!