NASA slated to 'bomb' the Moon Friday - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

NASA slated to 'bomb' the Moon Friday

WASHINGTON. - Telescopes around the world are trained on the Moon on the eve of what could be a major development in space exploration.

NASA is set to deploy it's "L-Cross" mission Friday morning as the space agency searches for water on the surface of the Moon and lays the foundation for a possible lunar base.

It's part rocket science part demolition derby.

"We are going to whack the moon in a controlled experiment to try and understand what's in the lunar soil," said James Garvin, Chief Scientist at the Goddard Research Center.

Early Friday morning, NASA will fire an unmanned rocket into a crater near the south pole of the Moon.

"Could it actually contain some of the most important stuff for human exploration and for science?" said Garvin.

The "stuff" scientists are looking for is water after a recent lunar probe detected evidence of ice on the moon's surface.

NASA animation details the "L-Cross" mission plan as a rocket slams into the lunar crater it will send up a huge plume of dust rocks and possibly ice.

Four minutes later a separate satellite will fly through the plume feeding back live video images and critical data readings before it crashes into the Moon.

The information could unravel an age-old mystery and provide the foundation for the next phase of space exploration including a possible lunar base.

"Substantial water on the Moon would not only serve astronauts thirst, it would give them oxygen to breathe and hydrogen fuel for their spaceships," said NBC Space Correspondent Jay Barbree.

A presence on the Moon that will only be possible after Friday's crash landing.

The strike is expected at 7:30 a.m. EST.

The debris plumes should be visible from Earth for those with telescopes 12" and larger.

NASA will also broadcast the images from the trailing satellite.
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