Thursday, 28 Feb, 2008 Technology

NASA to Strike the Moon with a Double Sledgehammer


Two spacecrafts are going to be launched by NASA in hope of slamming into the South Pole of the moon and find out if the double explosion on the surface of the moon will be able to reveal the hidden water ice.

Undoubtedly the Earth-on-moon violence may lead to serious discussions on the topic, but the history of NASA demonstrates that such missions may bring a lot of useful information.

"I think that people are apprehensive about it because it seems violent or crude, but it's very economical," outlined Tony Colaprete, the mission's leading researcher at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

It is worth mentioning that the prior Lunar Prospector mission spotted large volume of hydrogen at the moon's poles before smashing itself into a crater found on the South Pole of the moon. The new mission, entitled Lunar Crater and Observation Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), is much larger. It will start on February 2009 and will focus on whether hydrogen is hidden on the moon's poles in form of frozen water.

LCROSS is going to piggyback on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission for an October 28 launch on top of an Atlas 5 rocket. The latter features a Centaur upper stage. As the launch carries LRO to the moon in about 4 days, LCROSS mission will begin its three-month trip to get to its proper moon smashing position. When the rocket is within range, its Centaur upper stage splits as the main 2,000 kg impactor spacecraft for LCROSS.

A smaller Shepherding Spacecraft will lead the Centaur to its target crater. Then it will retreat to watch the cloud of the moon dust and fragments kicked by the impact of Centaur and then fly through. The Shepherding Spacecraft in equipped with a light photometer, a light camera and 4 infrared cameras to perform the research of Centaur's lunar dust before it develops into a second impactor and then smashes another crater 4 minutes later.

"This payload delivery represents a new way of doing business for the center and the agency in general. LCROSS primarily is using commercial-off-the-shelf instruments on this mission to meet the mission's accelerated development schedule and cost restraints," mentioned Daniel Andrews, LCROSS project manager at Ames.

According to Colaprete, estimating the final destination of the LCROSS mission, which by the way costs $79 million, is "like trying to drive to San Francisco and not knowing where it is on the map." Together with other scientists working on this mission he looks forward to use the studies from LRO as well as the Japanese Kaguya (Selene) lunar orbiter in order to target the locations of the crater before the arrival of LCROSS.

"Nobody has ever been to the poles of the moon, and there are very unique craters - similar to Mercury - where sunlight doesn't reach the bottom," outlined Colaprete. The radar based on Earth was of much help in illuminating some eternally shadowed craters. Until LCROSS drives in, it can focus on its 30 km wide targets within 100 meters.

Researchers look forward for the impactor spacecraft to strike smooth plain areas away from the rocky ones. Flat areas will allow the moon dust, which will occur after the strike, to go up of the crater shadows and into the sunlight. The latter will allow LRO as well as telescopes on Earth to analyze the results.

"By understanding what's in these craters, we're examining a fossil record of the early solar system and would occurred at Earth 3 billion years ago," stated Colaprete.

At this time LCROSS aims at target craters named Faustini and Shoemaker. Colaprete likened the two craters "fantastic time capsules" that are 3 billion and 3.5 billion years old.

According to LCROSS researchers there is more than a 90 percent possibility that the impactors will discover hydrogen at the moon's poles.

LCROSS will smash into the moon's craters at a speed of 2.5 km per second. The total energy of the impact will rise 1,102 tons of moon fragments and dust.

Thanks to modern technology, we can finally see if the moon is made of cheese.  If it weren't for those bright men and women over at NASA, we wouldn't have satellite radio, internet or even cell phones.  Think how hard it would be get online music with no internet!  Perish the thought.

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46 votes

//21 Dec 18, 2010 07:48 PM | posted by: saleem
its fabulous, till now i m just student of sciences. it seems i too can become a scientist, a legend of sciences by getting knowledge through this. thanks to info NIAC...
44 votes

//20 Dec 07, 2010 08:46 AM | posted by: No Use for a Name
I didn't read through all of the comments, but it really doesn't seem like anyone posted anything on here of any intelligent thought... Just religious fanatics, humorous and probably sarcastic posts and well... Not much else, at least nothing noteworthy, this is an old thread anyways but still... Kind of disappointing. To add to the humor posts, this is the future, the moon didn't get knocked off course from the test...
46 votes

//19 Nov 05, 2010 11:48 PM | posted by: D
No such thing as aliens. if you believe in ufos, then your right. they are real but are not maned by alien like creatures. they are flown by pilots of government. its a ploy to get your attention off whats truely going on in the world. The truth is that Jesus Christ Loves you and he is the creator of all of this life as we know it and much much more. Its a ploy to get your attention of Jesus Christ. why do you think everything in the world is pointing away from God? maybe because the world is wicked And corrupted by lucifer and Mans own wicked thoughts. DO SOME RESEARCH. Everything the Government does is under the Judgement of lucifer. eveything. goodluck. DO YOUR REASEARCH
46 votes

//18 Oct 05, 2010 08:35 AM | posted by: king
hi i just want to let you guys know that our prophet nabi (PBUH) when he pointed to the moon the moon go two sides thats a miricle of allah..thanks
43 votes

//17 Oct 04, 2010 10:58 PM | posted by: please stop sukers
i think that summer bin laden should tell nasa to stop cause the moon has freinds yu know and there going to kill us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
47 votes

//16 Sep 18, 2010 08:00 PM | posted by: bend over
like nasa is going to to that the moon helps eath stay in orbit of the the sun the poseter of this page is retarded
43 votes

//15 Aug 12, 2010 11:32 AM | posted by: Stacia
-Why can't these people leave the moon alone & sort out what we have down here on Earth????

Hi i am new and i saw this question first.My science teacher is teaching me about science moon.And i would like to try answering this question.'These people' I think they are NASA and I think they the wants to find out more about moon is because human's curiosity is bigger than you think(including scientist).NASA had not only discover things on moon,other planets in the outer space too.What i think about it was you see,earth's natural resources are only that much and after we use them all,we left nothing.We can't make oil,fuel and others.So when we use them all we left nothing...but we could still be alive because we just have no more electricity and...... to your next question, scientist are also sorting out what we have in earth now...
67 votes

//14 Feb 02, 2010 12:59 PM | posted by: Ann
Why can't these people leave the moon alone & sort out what we have down here on Earth????
47 votes

//13 Dec 29, 2009 01:28 PM | posted by: Joe Schmoe
79 million dollars that's not going to do anyone any-good except keep nasa working. We don't need anymore freaking technology. How greedy is mankind. Get a mile and want a light year.... Lets use that money to fix what we have already..... and keep going.
48 votes

//12 Dec 02, 2009 11:23 PM | posted by: shalaw_25
43 votes

//11 Oct 09, 2009 08:53 PM | posted by: Moon-versus-earth
The moon aliens will come at us! We declared war against the aliens! Who will help us?
50 votes

//10 Oct 06, 2009 08:55 AM | posted by: someguy
i hope those missiles dont make the aliens living there mad.
54 votes

//9 May 25, 2009 01:33 AM | posted by: kudude63 [InfoBIG]
I hope so! :P
53 votes

//8 Sep 11, 2008 01:39 AM | posted by: science project
will any people be in space observing the crashing into the moon?
51 votes

//7 Apr 15, 2008 05:12 PM | posted by: snsuresh [InfoMANIAC]
does it work out? but, if they can't who can?
49 votes

//6 Mar 03, 2008 12:53 PM | posted by: TheGrungy
i may be stupid in saying this but wouldn't those explosions, apart from hurting our alien friends, actually change the orbit of the moon?

i always thought that the atomic experiments on earth had moved earths axis a small amount, i always picture a basketball sized rock floating in space, something exploding next to it and it being propelled off with no sign of stopping. is this not a larger scale of the same thing? (with smaller explosions obviously)

would a moon orbit adjustment not change the seas tide?

they're blatently bombing aliens, all those hidden nasa ufo films, only takes one of them to be real and they're bombing aliens. why else haven't they gone back there since 1969?
52 votes

//5 Mar 03, 2008 01:05 AM | posted by: Vin
I love this, it gives me a chance to make fun of NASA is an outlandish, yet true manner.

"Did you hear?....NASA are going to bomb to Moon"
51 votes

//4 Mar 02, 2008 10:42 PM | posted by: Really?
Has NASA even addressed the claims of having 'bases' built on the back side of the moon yet? If that is indeed true, is NASA performing a preemptive strike on the moon? Is there something they don't want us to know?
55 votes

//3 Mar 02, 2008 05:50 PM | posted by: Who knows?
Why slam rockets into our one and only moon, this WILL have catastrophic events.
46 votes

//2 Mar 01, 2008 11:45 AM | posted by: onefineday [InfoTOT]
It's a frame from the 'Time machine' movie
60 votes

//1 Mar 01, 2008 11:40 AM | posted by:
News suxx. It's a frame from the 'Time machine' movie

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