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Moon NASA Space

How NASA Will Bomb the Moon To Find Water 280

Posted by kdawson
from the black-eye-on-green-cheese dept.
mattnyc99 writes "A few weeks ago we got first word of NASA's plan to crash a spacecraft into the moon next February. The new issue of Popular Mechanics has an in-depth look at the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite and its low-cost, lightning-fast mission prep — even if delays have pushed it to late February or early March. Quoting: 'Andrews had no budget for an expensive lander to seek water, and conditions in the eternally dark polar craters would kill rovers, with temperatures close to minus 300 F. Instead, Blue Ice and its partners at Northrop Grumman came up with a concept to bring the lunar floor out in the open.... Since engineering precision hardware would break the budget, the LCROSS team had to make existing components work together.'"
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How NASA Will Bomb the Moon To Find Water

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  • Bomb what? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 15, 2008 @11:48AM (#24616341)
    Next they'll bomb Uranus in order to find it's filled with gas.
  • by notgm (1069012) on Friday August 15, 2008 @11:50AM (#24616355)

    I hit stuff to fix it all the time, why shouldn't they?

  • by Hoplite3 (671379) on Friday August 15, 2008 @11:50AM (#24616359)

    "The United States can, should, and will BLOW UP THE MOON!"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHpX5aa5Lz4 [youtube.com]

  • And now the moon! Ha! We're getting good at blowing things up... Hmmm... *searches closet for asbestos suit* Might need this...
  • See http://www.ironsky.net/site/ [ironsky.net] for details...

  • by BitterOldGUy (1330491) on Friday August 15, 2008 @12:04PM (#24616605)
    You mean liberate the Moon, don't you?

    And I find the 'water' reason to be pretty transparent. We all know that there's oil up there and this is yet another neo-con plan that's going to suck us into another war to boost Bush's ratings. But when images of those poor Amazon women up there start coming back, it's jut going to blowup in their faces like Iraq did, and further depress our economy.

    • by Enoxice (993945)
      No need to worry about the Cat Women [imdb.com], though, they live inside a cave with its own atmosphere. They'll survive and repopulate the moon. And life will go on
  • Where won't they go next!

  • temperatures close to minus 300 F

    1850 called. They want their unit of measure back.

    • Re:Fahrenheit? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) on Friday August 15, 2008 @12:34PM (#24617073)

      You know, while I'm generally in favor of the metric system over imperial, I've never cared nearly so much about the Celsius v. Fahrenheit debate.

      Fahrenheit makes more sense in day to day contexts. 0 is very cold, 100 is very hot (both from a human experience point of view), and you have more precision on the temperatures in between. Now in this particular case it's so cold that it doesn't really matter; if I told you it was -184 C, or -300 F it wouldn't really change the fact that you can't conceive of the temperature as anything but "really, really cold".

      Besides, who are you trying to chastise? The temperature was given in a quote from the article. Would you prefer Slashdot editors mangle quotes to conform to your prejudices?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        But don't you realize the having a decimal system based around the temperature of water freezing and boiling at a very specific atmospheric pressure makes the most sense? I mean CLEARLY that is better than the Fahrenheit scale which ignores this. And all those goofy fractions. Do you really like 32 9/16 degrees? Or would you rather have 0.3125 Celsius?

        Clearly the Celsius scale is superior.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Fred Ferrigno (122319)

          I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic, but Fahrenheit is a decimal system based around the temperatures of water freezing and boiling at a very specific atmospheric pressure. 32F is defined to be the temperature at which water freezes and 212F is defined to be the temperature at which water boils. It's exactly the same thing as Celsius except for where the two points are placed.

      • by afabbro (33948)

        Fahrenheit makes more sense in day to day contexts. 0 is very cold, 100 is very hot (both from a human experience point of view), and you have more precision on the temperatures in between.

        Fahrenheit is a superior unit of measure. Each degree corresponds to the difference in temperature a human can sense. Celsius is arbitrary and much less precise.

        The metric system got everything right except temperature.

        Now in this particular case it's so cold that it doesn't really matter; if I told you it was -184

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sznupi (719324)

        It only makes sense because you're used to it.

        In Celsius 0 is also very cold, but at the same time more meaningfull ("what will happen to water today?" or "what can fall from the sky today?"). Same with 100, also very hot, and usefull even in the kitchen. (and both 0 and 100 can be easily calibrated on Earth). And no, 100 Fahrenheit isn't very usefull medically - it's a temperature of somebody with severe fewer; if it would be "normal"/"border one" - I would agree with that one.

        As for precision - BS, even C

        • by idontgno (624372)

          In Celsius 0 is also very cold

          You're probably Western European to say something like that. 0c is mildly cool. "Cold" is when dry ice starts forming frost on the ground. 8)

          No, sorry, at least for those in the northern 2/3 of North America, Fahrenheit works better for day-to-day considerations of human comfort (and perception of environmental "hot" and "cold"). 0 degrees F is painfully cold on exposed flesh. 100 F is dangerously hot (unless you're in one of the freakishly-low-humidity regions and you're hyd

          • by vux984 (928602)

            No, sorry, at least for those in the northern 2/3 of North America, Fahrenheit works better for day-to-day considerations of human comfort (and perception of environmental "hot" and "cold").

            As someone from Canada, and formerly resident of Manitoba, I find Celsius works just fine.

            0 degrees F is painfully cold on exposed flesh. 100 F is dangerously hot (unless you're in one of the freakishly-low-humidity regions and you're hydrated well enough to not die of dehydration trying to sweat off the heat.)

            0C is chil

        • Re:Fahrenheit? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Guppy06 (410832) on Friday August 15, 2008 @01:42PM (#24618213)

          "what will happen to water today?"

          Before or after the salt trucks come through?

          "what can fall from the sky today?"

          Because it's not possible for different layers of air to be at different temperatures?

          "Same with 100, also very hot, and usefull even in the kitchen."

          No, it's not. When was the last time you stuck a thermometer into a liquid on the stove in the process of cooking? Does your range have temperatures on the burner controls? Boiling water isn't useful in the kitchen because it's "exactly 100 degrees Celsius" (which it isn't), but because it's at a constant temperature, regardless of what number you chose to associate with it. And even then, stovetop recipes have to be adjusted for altitude ("How high am I above sea level?" is a question asked more often than "What temperature is this boiling water?")

          "(and both 0 and 100 can be easily calibrated on Earth)"

          No, they can't. Celsius is defined as a linear offset to kelvin, period. At a "standard" atmospheric pressure of 101 325 Pa, water boils at about 99.974 C (and this is a mathematical approximation [iapws.org] based on experimental data). So even if you had a barometer that was accurate to 1 Pa absolute, arbitrarily declaring the saturation temperature in the room at the time as "100 C" is no more accurate than declaring it to be "212 F" (and at least there the approximately 180 F temperature difference between freezing and boiling is easier to subdivide geometrically).

          As a linear offset to thermodynamic temperature, no mere mortal has the equipment to properly calibrate their thermometer (Celsius or Fahrenheit) in their kitchen.

          "And no, 100 Fahrenheit isn't very usefull medically - it's a temperature of somebody with severe fewer;"

          With respect to measuring human body temperature, Fahrenheit is useful medically by simple virtue of being more granular. Assuming a normal body temperature of 98.6 F (37 C), a fever of 100 F is still less than 1 C above normal. 38 C is 100.4 F.

          "BS, even Celsius scale has way more precision than we need in day-to-day life"

          Then the adjustments on your thermostat are marked only to the nearest 5 C? If it's more granular than you need, then put your money where your mouth is and set your thermostat up another 2 C.

          "it's just above zero", "it's around 5", "a bit below 10"

          So the "metric" temperature scale is one that people "feel" in units of 5 rather than 10? In Fahrenheit, that would be "in the 30's," "in the 40's" and "in the 50's," respectively.

           

        • by sdpuppy (898535)

          And no, 100 Fahrenheit isn't very useful medically

          While 100F body temp isn't considered normal, it isn't severe - it is low grade fever. You're usually not bed ridden at the temp. Once you're above 102 to 104 - that is considered moderate fever. Above 105 F it is pretty bad and much above 107F you turn into an average anonymous Slash dot poster. http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/pa/pa_feverpho_hhg.htm [umich.edu]

          Fahrenheit has approx. twice as many divisions between water freezing and boiling, so in effect given the same number of significant digits, a temperatur

        • Which wold rather go out in?

          0 degrees Celsius or 0 degrees Fahrenheit?

          Both are cold but one is more cold the the other. Same can be said on the hotter temps.

          It really comes down to the people you are dealing with and what you are talking about. If you are dealing with sceince people and talking about the temps of space the deep ocean use Celsius. If you are talking to your kid sister/brother (or other non science people) and talking about the temp outside use what they know.

      • There's a very simple and accepted way to adjust quotes to accurately reflect what a person was saying. you simply put the adjusted/added words within brackets or an elipses within brackets if you are removing something. This is done by... well by basically every major news organization in the english speaking world. So now, I don't "prefer Slashdot editors mangle quotes", I prefer that they adjust them to make their meaning clear.

        As an aside, 0 F being very very cold and 100 F being very very hot might

        • the true temp was in the -20s F. I've also had the pleasure of experiencing 114 F (same location).

          I tend to think of this as a positive aspect of Fahrenheit rather than a negative one. Temperatures below 0 and above 100 are not unheard of in nature, but they are about as common. You were 20 below the scale on one end and 14 above the scale on the other. It's close to being symmetric.

      • by Sockatume (732728)
        Indeed, the Fahrenheit system was based on the coldest (0F, ice and salt) and hottest (100F, armpit) temperatures that Fahrenheit could concoct from his immediate surroundings, without resorting to extremes like fire. Therefore it's a comfortably human-sized temperature scale. I've only been on this side of the Atlantic for 2 months and I'm already adapting to it nicely.
    • by Guppy06 (410832)

      Yes, how dare they use a scale that's rigidly defined in terms of kelvin! Godless metric communists!

      Does 160 degrees Rankine make you happier?

    • by argStyopa (232550)

      Actually, the 21st century left you a message in return. It mentioned that the guys using that crappy old measurement system successfully landed men on the moon repeatedly nearly 40 years ago. It asked how many 'metric system' countries can say the same?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by oldspewey (1303305)
        Since TFA is actually about smashing things into the moon rather than landing softly, I'm gonna pick the USSR as my winner.
  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday August 15, 2008 @12:19PM (#24616851) Homepage

    The good news is that the Loonies can't do anything about it. I mean, all they could do is throw rocks at us, and what good would that do?

  • "stop the nukes"

    "yeah yeah right on!"

    "save the whales"

    "you got that right brother!"

    "bomb the moon"

    "right... i mean, what?"

    "bomb the moon with love, man"

    "oh right, right, bomb the moon with love!"

    "nuke the whales"

    "ummm..."

  • This is Awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by areReady (1186871) on Friday August 15, 2008 @12:42PM (#24617221)

    Somehow, this mission strikes me as one of the coolest things NASA's done in a while. It's a struggling unit of the organization, working with spare parts from scrapped projects, jury-rigging a satellite together that will tow the spent upper stage of a rocket to the moon and smash the chunk of metal otherwise slated to be space debris into the closest heavenly body to send an Earth-visible (with a decent telescope) plume from one of its poles. Finally, it will analyze the plume to figure out if there's ice there.

    Totally. Awesome

    • by Sockatume (732728)
      NASA are crazy MacGuyverish bastards, it's true. You wouldn't think you could correct for a damaged tape reel or radiation defects in your LEDs over the end of a million-mile radio link, but somehow they pull it off.
  • Tricky shot (Score:3, Funny)

    by HangingChad (677530) on Friday August 15, 2008 @12:44PM (#24617249) Homepage

    Apparently to make this work NASA will have to hit the opening of a thermal vent that's less than 2 meters across at the end of a canyon lined with defensive gun placements.

    Many NASAians died getting us this information.

  • ...did we learn nothing from Godzilla!?!?
  • A Realistic Plan for World Peace
    a.k.a
    Nuke the Moon

    http://www.imao.us/docs/NukeTheMoon.htm [www.imao.us]

  • NASA has released a diagram detailing the planned trajectory [wikipedia.org].

  • demonstration of Aerospace Dominance, followed closely by a search for WMD*.

    *Water of Moist Dampening

  • What are they doing? What will happen when the moon men retaliate? They need have an exit strategy before they start bombing!
  • missile testing? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by h2k1 (661151)
    looks like someone is testing the capability of controling extraplanetary missiles.
  • That'll teach them damn' MOONIES!
  • NASA has released more information on their plan for finding water on the moon, "We are sending in George Clinton [wikipedia.org] and his Parliament Funkadelic Mothership to the moon where he will be DA BOMB!". NASA expects Mr Clinton to kick it out and lay down a funk so powerful that any water hidden in the moon's crust should be revealed. "He is gonna kick it like he's never kicked it before." said chief NASA engineer Richard Bogus. Mr Clinton later said "I don't forsee any problems unless I get a last minute request

The test of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Aldo Leopold

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