NASA declares moon strike a success despite lack of visual thrills - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

NASA declares moon strike a success despite lack of visual thrills

WASHINGTON. - For many watching closely this morning, it was a lunar letdown.

"It is a historic moment, but we expected a little more hoopla over this incredibly historic moment," said one disappointed stargazer.

The pictures didn't end up showing what NASA scientists had predicted.

It wasn't exactly a big bang, but close.

The L-CROSS mission sent up an empty rocket in June to collide with the moon's south pole and kick up dust and rocks.

Scientists suspect it also kicked up ice.

Scientists say detection of ice on the moon, possibly from an icy meteor crash long ago, could teach earthlings about our past.

"That could be the building blocks of the water that seeded Mars and Earth and other planets," explains chief Goddard Research Center scientist James Garvin. "It's actually part of our own legacy, our heritage."

It could unlock a new future for astronauts.

The presence of a substantial amount of water could ease the construction of lunar outposts by providing not only drinking water, but also oxygen to breathe an hydrogen fuel.

NASA scientists say they're surprised we didn't see a bigger plume at the point of impact this morning, but insist it was a successful mission.
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