Has a hyperactive five-year-old taken over as the director of NASA? It sure seems like it. On Friday morning, an unmanned spacecraft launched in June will crash into the moon’s surface. On purpose.
Anyone not named Michael Bay is likely to ask why. Here’s the answer: NASA wants to know if the twin impacts of the Lunar Crater Observation and its Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) will reveal any ice or water under the moon’s surface.
Finding out shouldn’t be an issue. When the twin crafts hit the lunar surface at around 6,000 mph, NASA expects “plumes of moon dust — perhaps full of ice — (to soar) 6.2 miles high above the moon’s Cabeus crater.”
Anticipation among the earthbound is running high. Lookups on “nasa moon bombing” are scorching the search box. Related queries on “nasa.gov” and “NASA moon mission” are also rocketing skywards. More than a few folks are wondering how much the soon-to-be-destroyed LCROSS costs. Answer: $79 million, according to Christian Science Monitor.
Clearly, this is one of those cases where a picture is worth a thousand words. We’re gonna go one better and show you a video from NASA. The animated clip shows what NASA expects to happen. The entire sequence looks a bit like one of Dr. Evil’s satellites crashing into the Death Star. In other words, it’s awesome. See it for yourself below.
WASHINGTON (AFP) – NASA is preparing a violent return to the moon Friday as part of a mission to send a satellite and a rocket booster crashing into the planet’s surface to look for water.
Conspiracy theories aside — a ‘do not bomb the moon’ website is already campaigning against the move — there is no actual bomb, but the US space agency’s LCROSS satellite and heavier Centaur upper-stage rocket will still leave huge impact sites where NASA hopes to find evidence of water or ice.
At 1130 GMT, the rocket and four minutes later the spacecraft will separately race into the moon at 5,600 miles (9,000 kilometers) per hour to kick up approximately 6.2 miles (10 km) of lunar dirt from the Cabeus crater floor near the planet’s south pole.
The flash that will follow the impact will last about 30 seconds.
A camera mounted on the 1,965-pound (891-kilogram) Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) will beam live footage back to Earth.
The carnage is also the first preparatory mission of the Constellation program that aims to bring Americans back to the moon by 2020.
“We don’t anticipate anything about presence or absence of water immediately. It’s going to take us some time,” cautioned Anthony Colaprete, project scientist and principal investigator for the LCROSS mission, which has a 79-million-dollar budget.
Colaprete projected it would take several days for analysts to evaluate the data and several weeks to determine whether and how much hydrogen-bearing compounds were found.
For those hoping to catch a bare-eyed glimpse of the impact, the scientist had sad news.
“It’s not going to be a grand spectacle that you can go outside in your back yard and see with your bare eyes or even a good binoculars. It’s going to be too faint,” said Colaprete.
More powerful telescopes around the world and also the Hubble Space Telescope will nevertheless get a good view as they focus on the giant cloud of debris.
NASA scientists will be looking at what spews out after 350 tonnes of debris is ejected from the cold, dark Cabeus crater, staking its hopes on water in the form of ice.
The crater is 62 miles (100 km) across and between 1.6 and 2.5 miles (2.5 to four km) deep.
“We’re hunting for how water ice was stored and trapped in these permanently shadowed areas over billions of years and we want to find out how much there is,” explained Peter Schultz, a professor of geological sciences at Brown University who helped design the mission.
The mission comes just two weeks after India hailed the discovery of water on the Moon with its Chandrayaan-1 satellite mission in partnership with NASA.
Scientists had previously theorized that, except for the possibility of ice at the bottom of craters, the moon was totally dry.
Finding water on Earth’s satellite would be a major breakthrough in space exploration and pave the way toward future lunar bases for drinking water or fuel, or even man living on another planet.
“This could be the place that we could go to mine water for a permanent lunar base,” said Schultz.
“It tells us something about how water was delivered to the moon and other planets in a sort of cosmic rain, meaning impacts from comets over eons.”
But much uncertainty surrounds NASA’s future dealings with the moon, as key review panel appointed by President Barack Obama’s administration said existing budgets bar a return to the cold planet before 2020
Excuse my word in the title ‘Bomb’ the moon, but I couldn’t find any generic word than that with what NASA folks are doing this coming Friday, October 9th 2009. This is NASA’s year long planned mission named LCROSS(Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) which is finally taking place the day after tomorrow. This historic moment will be showcased live herein US at 6:15AM EDT and 3:15AM PDT on October 9th, 2009. I’m on 3:15AM zone, so, will set the timer to wake me up to check that event out live on NASA channel.
Whats my take on this?
Well, I don’t know if it’s the continuation of the same old top secrets that US long ago planned to show it’s might by dropping nuclear bombs on the moon during the cold war or if it’s geared towards scientific research. They’ve claimed that this is for finding water on moon in general term but it sounds vague and mysterious when scientists from India already confirmed the traces of water on the moon many years ago. Whatever the cause, it’s quite a dilemma for now. But, I’m quite excited for sure to see the results.
Should we let them happen this?
I should say YES. Till now, most of the theories and statements are based upon delicate obscured researches and fictions. When we are ignorant of the things beyond our understanding, we human nature tend to shape it in our own way and give it several names. When I read many science books, most of those things are based on that, same hypothetical stuffs without much base and proof. Science has ability to prove every single things happening in the universe. BUT IT’S NOT YET READY to do that SOLID. All the big bang theories, parallel universe, multiverse etc are mere assumptions of scientists who calculated things on their own way. We have no other choice than to believe and follow it. Before Galileo, everyone believed Sun revolves around Earth. We need someone like him in every generation who could unfold the mysteries of universe bit by bit with rock solid proof. To me, causing some explosion on Moon’s surface to find out the real deal is permissible. This is one step forward for entire humankind to see progress towards demystifying the secrets of the universe. So, let’s cheer and see what happens next.
What are other opinions?
Right now in science communities, there are serious discussions going on all around the globe regarding this bombing. Half of them are opposing this whereas half of them are supporting it. Those who supported were quite excited like me but some of those comments were real eerie.
Following is the excerpt from WWW,
“The planned October 9, 2009 bombing of the moon by a NASA orbiter that will bomb the moon with a 2-ton kinetic weapon to create a 5 mile wide deep crater as an alleged water-seeking and lunar colonization experiment, is contrary to space law prohibiting environmental modification of celestial bodies. The NASA moon bombing, a component of the LCROSS mission, may also trigger conflict with known extraterrestrial civilizations on the moon as reported on the moon in witnessed statements by U.S. astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, and in witnessed statements to NSA (National Security Agency) photos and documents regarding an extraterrestrial base on the dark side of the moon” src here
We cannot deny the fact that other lifeforms also exist together with us in this universe. If we earthlings can step forward to reach on the surface of the moon, there are possibly other species from another planets hungry for knowledge of their existence, just like us craving for knowledge. It’s nothing but the extreme of foolishness to believe that we’re the only lifeforms in this entire gazillions of galaxies.
So, how will it happen??
In simple term rocket will be launched from somewhere in Florida, headed towards the moon and then some part takes off from the rocket from where the rocket will enter the orbit of moon, after revolving moon for some time, it’ll hit the designated crater of moon double the speed of the fired bullet and cause some explosion which will scatter the debris from the moons surface and the other part of the rocket will take the snap shot and do their job confirming if it’s indeed the water particles or other substances. For more detail observation of all this, click here and click here for more info on which crater the explosion will occur upon.
Earth without Moon
Bomb the moon