LRO/LCROSS Launched to the Moon

Few months back, there are 3 spacecrafts orbiting our Moon. Then on March 1, the Chinese probe Chang’e 1 crashed onto the Moon under controlled conditions. Then just last week, on June 10, the Japanese probe Kaguya finished its mission by smashing itself, again, onto the Moon’s surface.

So now, the only spacecraft left is the Indian Chandrayaan-1 probe. But not for long… Chandrayaan-1 will soon join by two NASA probes – the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), launched atop an Atlas V rocket last Thursday.

LRO-LCROSS Launched

The basic objectives of these two missions are to provide detailed lunar maps for returning humans to the Moon and searching for water ice in permanently shaded craters at the poles.

LRO and LCROSS will use vastly different methods to study the lunar environment. LRO will go into orbit around the Moon, turning its suite of instruments towards the moon for thorough studies. The spacecraft will also be looking for potential landing sites for astronauts.

LCROSS, on the other hand, will guide an empty upper stage on a collision course with a permanently shaded crater in an effort to kick up evidence of water at the Moon’s poles. LCROSS itself will also impact the lunar surface during its course of study.

LRO-LCROSS

And you know what… my name is now on the way to the Moon aboard LRO… cool eh? You can also have that, but not to the Moon (it’s too late now), but to Mars (it’s “cool”er, isn’t it? since it goes to a planet instead of a moon). Just click here to sign up.

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~ by thChieh on June 20, 2009.

3 Responses to “LRO/LCROSS Launched to the Moon”

  1. […] Reached the Moon One week ago, I wrote about the launch of two NASA probes to the Moon – Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite […]

  2. […] Sees Apollo Landing Sites! The NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) was sent to the Moon with the mission to identify safe landing sites for future explorers. But […]

  3. […] another probe which is launched together and then later separated with LRO, is also another mission to search for water on the Moon, but in a different way. Instead of […]

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