Wednesday, October 7, 2009
See the funny shaped cloud behind the two cute girls in the picture above? That's the plume of the Lunar Recon Observer riding on an Atlas 5 Rocket. This was the first rocket that NASA has sent to the moon since Apollo 17. The idea is to use this rocket to place a small satellite into lunar orbit. Once there it's going to look for a good place for humans to set up base. But it's also doing something very remarkable. It's going to release an impact device and send it straight into a dark crater near the lunar south pole. The idea is to blast lunar material into the moon sky and see what's there. Scientists are hoping to see traces of pretty, sparkly, ICE. Very cool. I'm glad we were there to watch it launch. Here is a really cool video animation of the mission profile.