back to article NASA moon-attack probe beams home first lunar shots

NASA's new lunar probe beamed home images from the far side of the moon early Tuesday as the spacecraft eased into position for slamming down on the surface this October. The $79m Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) lifted off on June 18 along with its sister spacecraft, the $504m Lunar Reconnaissance …

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  1. Adrian Esdaile
    Black Helicopters

    IlPallazzo and Excel will be chuffed...

    ..to see their plans for world domination have finally come to fruition! People of Earth (and Fukuoka City) will quail at mention of the the name LCROSS! And, of course, ACROSS!

    Today's experiment.... worked!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    LCROSS is actually a neat implementation

    It's a structure normally used to attach the payload and some electronics to the Atlas. Since it had to be there for LRO, they just packed it with a couple more electronics boxes, and viola! you have an impactor mission.

    It was done on the cheap (for NASA) with lots of potential science return.

  3. Winkypop Silver badge
    Flame

    I'll see you on the dark side of the.......

    ....THUD !

  4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Joke

    Traffic accidents kill more Merkins abroad than terrorists

    Osama bin Laden venerates the inventor of the round-about.

    So why should space be any different?

  5. TeeCee Gold badge

    @John Smith 19

    Not only abroad.

    Not so long ago, I saw a post on one of the Classic Car forums from a gentleman who lives in Florida. Apparently, just up the way from where he lives, they'd built a new shopping mall adjacent to a busy highway. When deciding how to join the mall access road to the highway, some bright spark in road planning had decided that this rather cunning European thing called a "roundabout" that he'd seen on his travels and been wanting to try out would be a really good idea.

    The chap who wrote the post said that fortuitously there was a tree-shaded grassed area next to this junction with a handy bench on it. His favourite afternoon pastime was to walk down there with a sixpack of beer and watch the accidents.

  6. fishcakes

    here love,..

    why don't you drive for a bit.....

  7. Astarte

    Be careful about where it impacts

    Dark Side of the Moon. Anybody remember this?

    We wouldn't want to desecrate Elvis Presley's resting place or the WW II bomber in which his body was found.

  8. Dr. Mouse
    Grenade

    Science, gotta love it :)

    If you want to see what something is made of, grab the biggest hammer you can find and hit it... hard!

    Works for small things (only the hammer is another small thing, done in a big thing - particle accellerators) so why not the moon? Crash something into it and see what happens.

    Maybe my boss will let me do the same with the old P3 I am forced to use to access one specific network...

  9. Mark Wills
    Alien

    I have no comment.

    I just wanted the little alien icon :-)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The end of the world is nigh!!!

    Don't do it!!!! The impact will obviously nudge the moon out of it's current orbit and cause it to drift away, so hastening the end of the world as we know it...

  11. Fractured Cell
    Megaphone

    The moon is drifting away?

    But then the sky will fall!

    *Runs around screaming: THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING!*

  12. Tel
    WTF?

    Watched the 'swing by' video...

    Is that it?

    I was expecting something exciting!

  13. Yorkshirepudding
    Coat

    clangers!

    wont be amused

    /coat

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I feel your pain

    new lunar probe

    I sure wouldn't want my moon probed by a "heavy impactor"

    Yeah, I know she knows all about it.....

  15. amanfromearth
    Alien

    It's not a science project

    It's the USAF trying to knock out the Lizardman Moonbase. The delay until October is because they haven't located it yet...

  16. Jonathan Richards 1 Silver badge
    Boffin

    @AC 24th June 2009 01:44 GMT

    AC wrote:

    >LCROSS is actually a neat implementation

    I have a question. Won't the upper stage and so forth be full of hydrocarbons and stuff? Slamming it into the lunar surface will vaporise a proportion of the impactor, and potentially contaminate the plume, surely?

    > viola! you have an impactor mission.

    Shit! They're throwing musical instruments at the moon? Look out for the spectoscopic signature of that Stradivarius varnish...

  17. Jonathan Richards 1 Silver badge
    FAIL

    Yeah, yeah. s/spectoscopic/spectroscopic

    No further comment required.

  18. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Boffin

    @Jonathan Richards 1

    "Won't the upper stage and so forth be full of hydrocarbons and stuff? Slamming it into the lunar surface will vaporise a proportion of the impactor, and potentially contaminate the plume, surely?"

    No. The Centaur stage is fuelled by liquid Hydrogen and Oxygen and are in a fairly slow orbit specifically to allow time for the tanks to vent. With direct sunlight raising the stage surface temp several 100 degrees and the very low pressure in space pretty much anything volatile will "boil" off.

    With a detailed parts list and a fairly low mass relative to what they hope to eject into space it should be *fairly* easy to subtract out the part of the plume supplied by the stage.

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