unclejimbo: (La la la la la)
NASA finds water on the moon

Link here

A "significant amount" of frozen water has been found on the moon, the US space agency said Friday heralding a giant leap forward in space exploration and boosting hopes of a permanent lunar base.

Preliminary data from a dramatic experiment on the moon "indicates the mission successfully uncovered water in a permanently shadowed lunar crater," NASA said in a statement.

"The discovery opens a new chapter in our understanding of the moon," it added, as ecstatic scientists celebrated the landmark discovery.

"Yes indeed we found water and we did not find only a little bit but a significant amount," said Anthony Colaprete, project scientist and principal investigator for the 79-million-dollar LCROSS mission.


So there, we just found the mother lode on the moon by "bombing" it. (The scientific term is called an impactor and has been in use since the beginnings of the space age. See Ranger probes)

I hope Bill O'Reilly chokes on more spittle over this.

Really.

L-CROSS

Oct. 8th, 2009 07:46 pm
unclejimbo: (La la la la la)
Well, tonight (or at least early tomorrow morning the L-CROSS mission will come to it's climactic conclusion when the Centaur upper stage slams into the moon followed about 4 minutes later by the L-CROSS satellite itself.

So far, so good. The satellite separated from the booster at about 6:30 PST and has a little while ago started to break so it will have that 4 minutes to gather information as it goes into the debris cloud from the booster impact.

The big smash should take place at about 4:31 am PST. I'm going to try and be up for it. All I have are a pair of binoculars so I don't know if I'll see the flash when it hits. However, I am also recording NASA TV on the DVR so I'll be able to watch the highlights as it goes in.

This should be an interesting night.
unclejimbo: (Default)
It made it's 3rd pass past the planet yesterday afternoon and has returned more images of areas never before seen by either Mariner 10 in the mid 1970s or it's own previous two passes.

Seems like Mercury is going to be an interesting place to explore, even if it only takes 88 days to circle the sun.



http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/gallery/sciencePhotos/image.php?gallery_id=2&image_id=331
http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/gallery/sciencePhotos/image.php?gallery_id=2&image_id=332

http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/gallery/sciencePhotos/image.php?gallery_id=2&image_id=333
unclejimbo: (Stitch)
The New Horizons mission is due to launch on Tuesday. It's mission, to make the initial reconnaissance of Pluto/Charon and the Kuiper belt beyond that.

The launch is scheduled for 1:24 EST on Tuesday and you can watch the launch online or on NASA TV. Sadly, I'll be at work and won't be able to watch the show.

The down side, the probe won't get to Pluto until 2015... I'll be 51. *sigh*

I just wish they had the Internet around when they launched the Voyagers, I would have loved to have seen the raw data coming in from the encounters with Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Look out, Pluto, here we come!

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