News from the College of Education & Human Development

Live Broadcast: Search for Water on the Moon

September 28, 2009 in College News, Planetarium News

NASA’s LCROSS mission hits the Moon and you can experience it live at the Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium, Oct. 9, 7 – 8 a.m. The event will feature a live NASA broadcast, behind the scenes videos and a question and answer session with Rachel Connelly, director of the planetarium.

About the LCROSS Mission

A Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), which is attached to a Centaur rocket, is scheduled to impact the moon on October 9, 2009 at 7:30 AM, EDT.

The main LCROSS mission objective is to confirm the presence or absence of water ice in a permanently shadowed crater near a lunar polar region. Mission scientists have determined that the best way to do this is to send one or more objects into the surface of the moon to generate a large plume of Moon dust that can be studied to determine the presence of water ice.

On final approach, LCROSS and Centaur will separate. The Centaur will impact the Moon to create a debris plume that will rise above the lunar surface. The Centaur will excavate a crater approximately 20 meters wide and almost 3 meters deep. More than 250 metric tons of lunar dust will be lofted above the surface of the moon. Following four minutes behind, LCROSS will fly through the debris plume, collecting and relaying data back to Earth before impacting the lunar surface and creating a second debris plume. (NASA,