In space, no one can hear you scream. So a rocket crashing on the moon won’t give out a satisfactory loud explosion either; but NASA’s plans to bomb the moon in search of water were still a little more tepid than we expected.
The US space agency has successfully bulldozed two spacecraft into the moon's South Pole in a search for hidden ice, but without the promised live photos and expectant.
The planned crash of the LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) was to send up a cloud of lunar dust for miles, which the scientists would observe in detail to detect if there are water molecules on the moon.
But it made for quite a disappointing live broadcast. In a streaming transmission on the official Web site, NASA’s control room said the probe was nearing the moon, but then the screen went completely grey for a while. Momentarily, a team of NASA scientists high-fived each other for a job well done.
While we didn’t get to see it, the Associated Press has the full run of play as to how it all happened: “First, a 2.2-ton empty rocket hull smacked the moon's South Pole at 5:01 PM IST on Friday. Then, four minutes later, the camera-and-instrument laden space probe made its death plunge.
“The smaller probe had five cameras and four other scientific instruments and NASA had touted live photos on its web site. But those images didn't occur.
“NASA officials say they are sure the two probes crashed and are looking to see what happened to the pictures.”
Hopefully, we should see the images soon because they would make for some great viewing! In any case, it should take some time to analyse the data and reach a conclusion, but till then, check out this cool video explaining the entire mission.