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Friday, October 9, 2009

Bombing The Moon In Search Of Water

NASA will begin an assault on the moon this morning in the hopes of identifying water and other resources that may help to sustain a lengthy human visit or colonization, no joke! "The principle purpose is to identify if resources are there and if they are accessible," said lead scientist Anthony Colaprete, with NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif. "It's to pave the way for making decisions about where to go down the line."

The mission involves hurling a 50,817-pound empty rocket body at a crater on the moons South pole. The impact should kick up about 300,000 to 350,000 tons of material from the crater floor, of which about five tons is expected to soar past the crater's rim and into sunlight.

The entire operation will be viewed by amateur and professional astronomers and orbiting observatories, such as the Hubble Space Telescope. The best premier view will come via the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, known as LCROSS, designed and deployed for this it's only mission.

Source: Discovery Channel