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NASA to trigger massive lunar explosion

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NASA to trigger massive lunar explosion

Postby TC on 16/06/09, 12:31:28

what could possibly go wrong? :roll:

Slashdot wrote:NASA is preparing to launch the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, which will fly a Centaur rocket booster into the moon, triggering a six-mile-high explosion that scientists hope will confirm whether water is frozen in the perpetual darkness of craters near the moon's south pole. If the spacecraft launches on schedule at 12:51 p.m. Wednesday, it will hit the moon in the early morning hours of October 8 after an 86-day Lunar Gravity-Assist, Lunar Return Orbit that will allow the spacecraft time to complete its two-month commissioning phase and conduct nearly a month of science data collection of polar crater measurements before colliding with the moon just 10 minutes behind the Centaur.

The cloud from the Centaur rocket booster will kick up 350 metric tons of debris that should spread six miles above the surface of the moon, hitting the sunlight and making it visible to amateur astronomers across North America. Over the final four minutes of its existence, as LCROSS follows the same terminal trajectory as the Centaur, the spacecraft will train its instruments and cameras on the debris cloud, searching it for the chemical signature of water. Previous spacecraft and ground-based instruments have detected signs of hydrogen near the moon's poles, and scientists are split over whether that is from ice that could have arrived through the impact of comets or by other means. Despite all the serious scientific talk about hydrogen signatures and lunar regolith, flying a rocket booster into the moon at 5,600 mph to trigger a massive explosion is just flat-out cool. 'We're certainly going to be making a big splash,' says Kimberly Ennico, the LCROSS payload scientist. 'We're going to see something, but I don't know what to expect. I know on the night of the impact, I'll be running on adrenaline.'

More: http://www.siliconvalley.com/ci_12590357 - click for 11-minute video on this. wait for the scale simulation at the six & a half minute mark.

i thought the same thing one of the /. dudes did - just ask chairface chippendale how well this went when he tried it.
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Re: NASA to trigger massive lunar explosion

Postby darkness on 16/06/09, 15:20:15

I think they're ten years late on this one. But someone should notify Martin Landau and Barbara Bain to be ready.
Just cut them up like regular chickens
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Re: NASA to trigger massive lunar explosion

Postby TC on 09/10/09, 08:46:51

Telegraph wrote:Nasa Moon bombing: analysis

Nasa has crashed two unmanned spacecraft into the Moon - as part of its LCROSS 'bombing' mission - in a bid to discover how much water is on the Moon. But little was seen by millions of viewers watching the live footage.

There may have been much backslapping and jubilation at Nasa mission control but millions of people watching it live on the internet must have felt slightly short changed.

The much anticipated 'bombing' of the Moon to find water did not even muster a whimper far less a bang. Great television it was not.

Apart from the Moon and its craters getting slowly bigger, and the occasional radio exchange between control room staff, nothing happened.

Where was the much anticipated explosion? Where was the splash of ice and water? Where was the 6.2 mile high spray of lunar dust?

If we hadn't been told the two spacecraft had crashed landed, we would never have known.

Even the commentators seemed perplexed - and not a little embarrassed.

Of course, this doesn't mean that the mission is a failure. It could still find water, in fact the lack of fireworks could be a good sign.

The spacecraft may have landed in a lake, or an ice sheeet or been engulfed in gloopy mud - all of which would be incredibly interesting.

Whatever the reason for the lack of fireworks, Nasa should still have learnt a great deal from the LCROSS mission.

Unfortunatelty we will just have to take their word for it.

well duh - the giant worm that lives in the crater simply swallowed them.
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