Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite/Atlas 5 Rocket
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The Mission Objectives of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) include confirming the presence or absence of water ice in a permanently shadowed crater in the Moon’s polar regions. The identification of water is very important to the future of human activities on the Moon. LCROSS will excavate the permanently dark floor of one of the Moon’s polar craters with two heavy impactors in 2009 to test the theory that ancient ice lies buried there. The impact will eject material from the crater’s surface and subsurface to create a plume that specialized instruments will be able to analyze for the presence of water (ice and vapor), hydrocarbons and hydrated materials. LCROSS will also provide technologies and modular, reconfigurable subsystems that can be used to support future mission architectures.
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Last Revised: Feburary 6, 2009 5:29 am EDT (J. Dumoulin)
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