Nasa spacecraft impacts lunar crater in search for water ice

October 9th, 2009 - 10:01 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

Moffett Field, Oct 9 (THAINDIAN NEWS) NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, today created a twin lunar impact to search for water on the moon’s surface. Scientists will analyze data from the spacecraft’s instruments to assess whether water ice is present on the lunar surface or not.

The satellite or lunar rocket traveled 5.6 million miles during an historic 113-day mission that ended in the south pole of the moon, more specifically in the Cabeus crater, a permanently shadowed region near the moon’s south pole. The spacecraft was launched on June

18 as a companion mission to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The images and the videos taken by the satellite which had a visible camera and radiometer as well as two near-infrared spectrometers, a visible light spectrometer, two mid-infrared cameras and two near-infrared cameras will enhance our understanding of the lunar surface and its constituents.

“The LCROSS science instruments worked exceedingly well and returned a wealth of data that will greatly improve our understanding of our closest celestial neighbor,” said Anthony Colaprete, LCROSS principal investigator and project scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in

Moffett Field, Calif. “The team is excited to dive into data.”

“This is a great day for science and exploration,” said Doug Cooke, associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “The LCROSS data should prove to be an impressive addition to the tremendous leaps in knowledge about the moon that have been achieved in recent weeks. I want to congratulate the LCROSS team for their tremendous achievement in development of this low cost spacecraft and for their perseverance through a number of difficult technical and operational challenges.”

For more information about the LCROSS mission, including images and video, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/lcross

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