LCROSS will Impact Moon on Friday Oct. 9th

LCROSS (Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite), one of the instruments sent into space along with LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter), is on schedule to impact the Moon this Friday (October 9th) at 7:30am EDT. Coverage and additional information will be available live from NASA.

The LCROSS lunar impact is currently scheduled for: 7:31 a.m. EDT/4:31 a.m. PDT - Friday Oct. 9

The impact has been planned methodically, which should allow various instruments to record and collect data about the impact before it occurs, as it occurs, or after it occurs!

The Mini-RF instrument will image the impact point both before and after the impact, but not during.

LROC will attempt shadow imaging with long exposures a few days before the impact (as the spacecraft passes over the site). An attempt will also be made after the impact occurs. If LCROSS impacts in a single shadowed region, LROC has a reasonable chance of finding the crater. But if the LCROSS impact crater is located in a double shadowed region, all bets are off. Single shadow areas receive sunlight bounced off a crater wall which is situated such that the wall is sticking out into the light. While a double shadowed area only receives light from two bounces.  For example, the interior of a small crater that is entirely inside a larger, shadowed crater.

LAMP will attempt to measure spectra of the growing plume just after the impact.

Resourceful links & information:

The live NASA TV Broadcast is planned for the LCROSS impacts starting at 6:15 a.m. EDT/3:15 a.m. PDT, Oct. 9, on NASA TV.

Published by Mark Robinson on 8 October 2009