LCROSS Impact on October 9

Artist's rendering of the LCROSS spacecraft and Centaur separation.  Image credit:  NASA

Artist's rendering of the LCROSS spacecraft and Centaur separation. Image credit: NASA

NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission is preparing to generate even more information in the search for water on the moon.  LCROSS was launched by an Atlas V booster rocket.  Also attached was a Centaur high energy upper stage rocket which has remained attached to LCROSS.  Now, the Centaur rocket is about to have a starring role in the search for water.  LCROSS and the Centaur rocket will separate and the Centaur will crash into a crater on the moon’s South Pole.  The Centaur will create a debris plume that will rise approximately 6 miles above the lunar surface.

Projected impact at the lunar South Pole is currently: Oct 9, 2009 at 4:30 a.m. PDT. Following four minutes behind, LCROSS will fly through the debris plume, collecting and relaying data back to Earth before impacting the lunar surface and creating a second debris plume.  For more information on LCROSS, see the NASA website.  In addition to more information on LCROSS, you can find information on how to view the impact and on public viewings of the impact across the United States.

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