Friday, June 19, 2009

Go, Go, LRO!

Two NASA spacecraft are on their way to the Moon after a successful launch on Thursday June 18.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has separated from its Centaur upper stage, while the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), stayed attached as planned. LRO should go into lunar orbit Tuesday and begin its studies. For the next four months, the Centuar stage and LCROSS will stay linked. At the end of their portion of the mission, they will separately be crashed into the Moon to allow scientists to study the resulting ejecta for evidence of water.

COMMENT: This is an ambitious mission, one that serves as an important precursor to the will-we-ever-fund-it return of humans to the Moon under Project Constellation. Congratulations and good luck to all involved.

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