Far Side of the Moon

June 22, 2009

LCROSS_Centaur_Sep_small

June 23, 2009 at about 5:20 am PDT, you will be able to watch live-streaming of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter pictures at 1 frame/sec as it swings into orbit around the Moon, from an altitude only 9000 km above the Moon. The side towards the Sun — the far side — will be lit, so you’ll get a chance to see the far side close up.

The Mission Objectives of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) include confirming the presence or absence of water ice in a permanently shadowed crater at the Moon’s South Pole. The identification of water is very important to the future of human activities on the Moon. LCROSS will excavate the permanently dark floor of one of the Moon’s polar craters with two heavy impactors in 2009 to test the theory that ancient ice lies buried there. The impact will eject material from the crater’s surface to create a plume that specialized instruments will be able to analyze for the presence of water (ice and vapor), hydrocarbons and hydrated materials.

Via Steve Cooperman aka Skyman

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