“Bombing the moon for water !! “

The LCROSS mission was designed to bomb two spots in a crater on the surface of the moon’s south pole to search for water. These impacts created craters by throwing tons of debris and potentially water ice and vapor above the lunar surface. The impact released materials from the lunar surface that were analyzed for the presence of hydrated minerals to tell researchers if water is there or not.

The Shepherding Spacecraft (SS) and Centaur rocket were launched together with another spacecraft called the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). All three were connected to each other for launch, about one hour after launch, the LRO separated. The SS guided the Centaur rocket through multiple Earth orbits, each taking about 38 days.
Next the rocket separated from the SS hit the moon’s surface going more than twice the speed of a bullet. A large plume or cloud of lunar debris could be seen. As the plume rose, the SS’s cameras, took pictures of the rocket’s descent and impact into the moon and its other instruments analyzed the material . Four minutes later, the SS followed almost the exact same path as the rocket, descending down through the plume and analyzing it for water (ice and vapor), hydrocarbons and hydrated materials.

In comparison, the sands of the African Sahara are 2 to 5 percent water, and the water is tightly bound to the minerals. In the lunar crater, which lies in perpetual darkness, the water is in the form of almost pure ice grains mixed in with the rest of the soil, and is easy to extract. The ice is about 5.6 percent of the mixture, and possibly as high as 8.5 percent of it, Dr. Colaprete, the Principal Investigator for the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing (LCROSS) mission said.

When was the scientific principal of respecting new lands and environments, disturbing as little as possible abandoned?


Excerpts courtesy of   http://nyti.ms/cRTVML
Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/bKcwV8
Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/cEHo4O

Image courtesy of    http://bit.ly/91ONWj


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: