In its quest to discover water on the moon, on 9th October 2009, at 7:31 a.m. ET, NASA bombed the moon by a 2.2 tonne empty rocket using LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite). The rocket crashed in the moon’s surface at a speed of 5600 miles per hour. The target was a 60-mile-wide crater called Cabeus. The LCROSS crashed on the surface four minutes later.
|Image Source: www.nasa.gov|
It was hyped that the blast would create a large cloud of gas, dust and vaporized water ice going up to 6 miles high and which will be visible from the Earth. Although, millions who were watching the event live on the internet were left disappointed. There was barely a change observed in the crater where the missile hit. NASA claim to have gained a lot of new knowledge through the $79 million experiment.
The principal investigator, Anthony Colaprete quoted- “I’m not going to say anything about water or no water, but we got the data that we need” to answer the questions raised by many as to what have we gained from this experiment
|Image Source: www.dailymail.co.uk|
The LCROSS carried a visible camera, near-infrared cameras, spectrometers and a visible radiometer to guide scientists from NASA to examine the resultant dust plume. Moon’s surface is like a dry desert but scientists believe that some ice is trapped deep in the craters where the sunlight cannot penetrate.
Two American spacecrafts had earlier reported the presence of water on Moon by tracing the hints of Hydrogen and Oxygen- the two elements that make up the water. These constituents were found in frozen state in deep craters of the North and South poles.
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