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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Moon Strike Not The Big Show Everyone Expected

I was glued to my monitor as the LCROSS mission unfolded and the camera refreshed as the Centaur rocket motor approached the surface of the moon, refreshing ever few seconds to bring an even tighter shot of the surface... and then...meh. I guess I was like many others around the globe who bought into the hype and expected a flare of impact and a huge dust plume! I truly hope that NASA was able to capture something of value, otherwise we're just polluting the moons surface with more space junk.

Discovery Channel:

"It's hard to tell what we saw there," said Michael Bicay, science director at NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif.

Debris from the impact could have flown horizontally, or perhaps didn't clear the crater's rim, lead mission scientist Anthony Colaprete told reporters.

"Some luck has to come to get the ejecta to fly in the direction you want it to fly," he said.

"I'm not convinced we haven't seen the ejecta," Colaprete added. "We just have to go back with a finer tooth comb."