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View Full Version : New Views of LCROSS the Moon Smasher



Fraser
2007-Jan-26, 01:53 AM
NASA artists have released new images of the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission. This is a secondary payload that will travel to the Moon with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. ...

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2007/01/25/new-views-of-lcross-the-moon-smasher/)

ranger2061
2007-Jan-26, 04:45 PM
Water-ice on the moon may be a very rare find. Why can't we wait until the Astronauts explore the moon to find the water-ice? The LCROSS Moon smashing mission will destroy whatever ice is in the crater. Does this seem wise to you? I think not.

Hamlet
2007-Jan-26, 10:30 PM
Water-ice on the moon may be a very rare find. Why can't we wait until the Astronauts explore the moon to find the water-ice?

We have the opportunity now to piggy-back on the LRO mission as a follow on to the Clementine (http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/clementine.html) and Lunar Prospector (http://lunar.arc.nasa.gov/) missions. Even when (if) we start landing on the Moon again, it's going to be sometime before we land at the poles. LCROSS will be able to excavate material in milliseconds that would take astronauts weeks and weeks to do.



The LCROSS Moon smashing mission will destroy whatever ice is in the crater. Does this seem wise to you? I think not.

It won't destroy it all by a large margin. The Lunar Prospector (http://lcross.arc.nasa.gov/prospector.htm) data indicates there may be as much as 300 million metric tons of ice at each pole. The LCROSS mission, at best, will excavate around a 1000 metric tons or so of material. If the ice is there in the quantity indicated, the LCROSS mission still leaves plenty for future use.

BigDon
2007-Jan-29, 03:27 AM
Thanks Hamlet, I had no idea there was that much water ice on the Moon. (That's why I come here I guess)

Hamlet
2007-Jan-29, 03:12 PM
Thanks Hamlet, I had no idea there was that much water ice on the Moon. (That's why I come here I guess)

You're welcome. It will be very interesting if LCROSS backs up these estimates.

I've also read about some new radar data (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/061018_moon_water.html) that may put a damper on the whole idea. Their findings showed no ice at the lunar south pole. It may be that the ice is there, but mixed in with the regolith in such low densities that it may not be practical to use. Maybe LCROSS can give us a definitive answer.