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NASA to Bomb the Moon Friday Morning

Filed under: News, Security, Space, Technology
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30444863While it may sound like a headline straight off the presses at The Onion, I assure you it is not. NASA will be “bombing” the Moon tomorrow morning – not once, but twice. To be accurate, there is no bomb per se. The NASA LCROSS mission will slam a spacecraft into the Moon’s Cabeus crater at 7:31AM EST time on Friday.

The mission will happen in two stages: a rocket delivering the impact payload will send the payload craft at close to 6,000 miles per hour into the crater. The delivery rocket, specially equipped to detect the presence of water will chase behind, fly through the debris cloud, and then smack into the crater approximately four minutes later.  The hope is, that by kicking up enough Moon stuff into the “air,” scientists will be able to detect the presence of water that may be hidden just under the surface.  The crater was chosen as a likely candidate because it lives in the shadows and hasn’t seen sunlight in perhaps millions of years.  It’s cold temperatures may have allowed for frozen water to remain locked away, whereas moisture exposed to the heat and light would have boiled off into space countless ages ago. It’s likely the moisture itself was delivered from violent impacts in the past, when ice laden meteorites crashed into the lunar surface.

So what’s the point?  The discovery of water on the Moon may mean it can support life. Not life native to the Moon of course, but it could help support human life. A “Space Base” on the Moon may some day make use of the moisture for drinking water, and even splitting it into its constituent parts to make breathable air. If moisture is detected, NASA has plans for follow up missions to drill several feet into the Moon to get a better look.

Aside from being able to detect moisture, the chase craft is also equipped with high definition video cameras. NASA has an entire event planned, including a stream of the live footage. The event can be seen on the NASA channel on cable, or live at the NASA LCROSS website. It begins at 6:15AM. The debris cloud from the impact is expected to be large enough that it should be visible to the amateur astronomer with a typical hobby telescope.

Just some final notes: For those of you who spend more time hugging trees than reading science books, please take a moment to put this impact in context. The force of the impact in relation to the size of the Moon is on the order of a mosquito hitting the windshield of a dump truck at highway speed. It pales in comparison to the impacts that have rained down on the surface of the moon for millions of years.  This will not harm the Moon – how do you think the giant crater NASA is targeting got there in the first place? And… for the conspiracy theorists who think it’s cover to test weapon capabilities – I’m not even going to try to convince you otherwise. We already know sending things to the Moon is ripe for spinning convoluted tales…

I’ll leave you with this prophetic clip from Mr. Show.


  • Eric

    What if,,,
    Doomsday predictions are behind this.
    What if our gouvernements know the truth about december 21st 2012.
    What if by doin this,we arent creating our own destruction.
    Even if there is water on the moon,What the hell is that gunna teach us really?
    I have a bad feeling about this.
    I realise that yes,the cost of this misson,could really help all of us all,People are starving all over,but het,who cares,lets spend billions of dollars like we do each year at canada day – 4th of july.And spend em on a frikin light show.
    The dont know if theres water,,,, so how would they know ,there isint Gas in there,and that little explosin(6 miles high)i dont call that small.Isint Gunna crack the frikin thing,and send the pieces,as big as they may be,,, straight to us.resulting in a collision that would most certainly be,a Global Killer.

    Leave the moon alone.Spend a bit more,and do it the hard way if ur gunna do it.Did we really put a man up there ? ,,,and if we did.Why are they doin this instead of setting up a colony,to really study it.They say ,Never send a Monkey to do a mans job.So sending a bomb is a better idea????

    I am scared of doomsday,the prophecies,pole shift, planet nibiru , solar flares ,
    Intense weather predicted by Nasa that have already begun showing signs.Now,im affraid of what this experiment might do.Every action,has a reaction.

    Point is DONT DO IT

  • http://stop-illegal-detention.com Joe Dettelis

    Fear does not create value or conquor worlds, but I agree Eric we need hands on exploration and science, and slamming rockets into unknown territory sounds extremely iresponsible. Of course the area has been well photographed but I do not agree with this particular mission

  • Casey

    I think that scientists need to quit playing God. for crying out loud, how do they know that this wont harm the moon? the effin U.S. government told the alaskan natives living on the aleution chain that when the japanese attacked, everything would be ok when they evacuated them to southeast alaska. what did they go and do next? burned down every village and the history behind it. I dont trust nasa or the government. I am not a terrorist, I am true to my country, USA, but the government can be a little suspisious sometimes. i hope the mission goes wrong and all the money spent in this little expeiment goes wasted. that might teach them to spend money a little more wisely.

  • bob

    I cannot help being suspicious about this given NASA’s track record. Here are my reasons: I have not heard about this until now. The moon is our “kevlar vest” against meteors, asteroids, and comets. There are multiple “end of the world” predictions culminating into the near future. Water is not neccessary to make a Moon colony for it can be flown in. Who would drink Moon water? The Moon has no water. How would they tell if the exploded gases contain water? There is no atmosphere. There is something we are not being told.

  • FroM The Hood…

    This some crazy shiT..
    Spending all This CasH on bs.

    Y nOt take that cash and and put That shiT in the hands Of americans that reallY neeD iT..?

    2012
    Its aLL starTinG to make sence.. ( cover up to maybe something bigger ? )

  • Anthony

    well for all you worried… it was pretty much a non-event this morning. It’ll take some time to analyze the data to come to conclusions, so we might not know the result for a few days. The impact was smaller than expected. The moon certainly did not “crack”… there was no real damage done. This impact was 10 times slower than a typical meteor strike that bombards the moon on a regular basis. The moon looks like a small dot in the sky, but it’s a pretty large body; about a quarter of the size of our planet. As in my post I made the analogy of a mosquito hitting the windshield of a dump truck – I didn’t just pull that from my backside; the math literally pans out given the ratio of masses and forces involved.

    Eric – the mission cost $79 million. No small chunk of change, but certainly not billions of dollars. Point taken that the money could probably be better spent at a time like this with our country in the shape it’s in. In perspective though, NASA’s budget is a tiny, tiny, tiny slice of the overall pie (far less than 1% of the country’s budget), and the technological advances that indirectly result from their missions has paid dividends throughout the years! You’re surrounded by NASA technologies and benefit from them every day – from implants that help deaf people to hear, lubricants in your car’s engine, to the teflon on your frying pan. You’d be really surprised. There’s a list here that includes just some of the technologies we have on Earth, thanks to exploring space: http://www.thespaceplace.com/nasa/spinoffs.html

    And Bob – no need to be suspicious if you do a little reading. There’s plenty of information about how the detection process works on NASA’s website. To say the Moon has no water – how are you so sure? We’ll find out very shortly. Of course there’s no atmosphere, but that’s neither here nor there… and who would drink Moon water? Well, why not? H2O is H2O whether it’s on Earth, on the Moon, or floating through space in the Andromeda galaxy. It all came from the same place. If anything, we know there’s no pollution, no viruses, no bacteria, etc to taint the water on the Moon! Water is absolutely necessary if man is going to spend a significant amount of time on the Moon. If it’s not there, we’d have to ship it there, and the cost is probably prohibitive with current technology… though it won’t take much – even if there’s just traces of water in the lunar “soil”, it will be recycled and re-used on a “Moon Station” just like it is in the International Space Station.

  • Joe Mahma

    It’s actually “NASA,” not Nasa.

    Just sayin…