Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
NASA Science

NASA's LCROSS Moon Impact Mission Provides Great Data 91

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the yes-but-is-it-wet? dept.
Several sources are sending us reports of NASA's recent LCROSS Moon impact mission. While the visual results seem to be less than stunning, LCROSS Principal Investigator Anthony Colaprete said the initial results produced "the data we need," but refused to say anything about "water or no water." "The goal of this dual impact was to have the Centaur upper stage impact first, allowing the LCROSS spacecraft to observe close-up the results of the impact. In fairness, the view from LCROSS as it approached the moon was amazing — even though there was no obvious visual evidence of impact, which early data from the infrared camera on the craft indicates did occur. What happens next is a whole lot of math and science. The LCROSS spacecraft included nine individual science instruments. This suite of instruments consisted of one visible camera, two near-infrared cameras, two mid-infrared cameras, a visible light spectrometer, two near-infrared spectrometers, and a photometer. All nine of those instruments were gathering data simultaneously and streaming that data back to Earth."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

NASA's LCROSS Moon Impact Mission Provides Great Data

Comments Filter:
  • by Kemanorel (127835) on Friday October 09, 2009 @05:46PM (#29699023)

    For great justice!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    There was supposed to be an ice-shattering kaboom!

    Maybe the LRO will show something, because I sure as hell didn't see anything at 4:30 this morning.

    • by symbolset (646467)

      It turns out that the absence of water at the impact site is also data. And that's "great!" Because we learned something.

      Next stop... Mars.

  • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Friday October 09, 2009 @05:52PM (#29699085) Homepage

    The moon has a completely insurmountable 1.2 second ping.
    Even if a first generation move to the moon, their kids won't put up with a 1.2+ second ping in halo, and will move back to earth when they are 16.
    So you see, it won't be sustainable.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Sets_Chaos (1622925)
      What do you think the carbon nanotubes are for? We are going to run those to the moon to drop ping times down to more acceptable level. Everyone know wired is way faster than wireless...
      • by dgatwood (11270)

        <sarcasm>Ooh! I've got it! We'll use wormhole routing!</sarcasm>

      • by idontgno (624372) on Friday October 09, 2009 @06:41PM (#29699617) Journal

        Signal propagation in conductors is only a fraction of lightspeed.

        This site [siemon.com], a cabling vendor, has a nice graph [siemon.com] towards the middle of the page. Reading that graph tells me that the propagation delay of their twisted pair is 470 ns over a 100 m run.

        Google calc tells me [google.com] that that works out to 212,765,957 meters per second. Scorching, eh? But compared to lightspeed?

        Again, let's ask Google calc [google.com]

        Oh, that's only 71% of the speed of light. OK, so, that's a bit slower. Based on simple RTT and the signal propagation speed difference, your 2.4 sec ping just went up to just over 4 seconds.

        Yeah, ok, you were joking. And carbon nanotubule conductors may have a signal propagation speed higher than even virgin-copper oxygen-free 2-gauge Monster(tm) brand network cable. Or not. But even a superconductor, insulated with either vacuum or a dielectric insulator, has a signal propagation speed measured as a fraction of the speed of light. (I've heard .95c cited.)

        Superconductors are used, in fact, as delay lines [google.com].

        • by bmgoau (801508)

          Your post is very well researched and written but, after reading it a few times just to make sure, i think you were basing those calculations on the idea that we would communicate with the moon using a carbon nanotube/super conductor cable.

          I have never heard that suggested before, i mean, we have stories about space elevators on slashdot all the time, but why would you think we would communicate with the moon using a cable?

          Its movement relative to the earth would make this pretty much impossible. It also se

        • This is all true.

          But I find it better to think about this speed of 213 Mm/s as the speed of light (electromagnetic radiation) in that material.

      • Funniest comment I have ever seen

      • What do you think the carbon nanotubes are for? We are going to run those to the moon to drop ping times down to more acceptable level. Everyone know wired is way faster than wireless...

        No, no, no. Everyone knows wireless is faster. You just have to re-route a tachyon pulse through the Heisenberg compensator and then into the main deflector dish.

    • by xanadu113 (657977)
      Couldn't this delay be solved by quantum entanglement and use that to transmit data?
      • I'm afraid not.

        Without a classical information channel (speed of light) to confirm whether or not you pwned that noob, you would be faced with a Schrödinger's teabagging paradox.

    • by PhxBlue (562201)

      Even if a first generation move to the moon, their kids won't put up with a 1.2+ second ping in halo, and will move back to earth when they are 16.

      They'll finally be off my damn "lawn"!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No, you got it completely and utterly wrong. The truth is they'll never leave.

      On earth, maximal lag can be up to 200 ms just because of great circle distance and light is traveling (correct if I'm wrong) at only 2/3 of speed of light in a fiber optic network. And that's assuming a straight cable.

      The moon, however, is way more gamer friendly. It has no atmosphere, and thus no weather, so you can use shar... I mean lasers for communications. Maximal distance ping at the speed of light is just 36.4 ms. Th

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by khallow (566160)
        Besides the Moon is high ground. Bomb the Earth till they move all the servers up there.
    • Eventually there will be space reality shows, and docking meet ups and game contests between various space stations, such as space boxing, or even undocked who can grow food better, and everyone down on Terra will be watching. A 1.2 second ping will be tolerable for things that really matter.
    • People who play Halo reproduce? How?

    • by zapakh (1256518)

      The moon has a completely insurmountable 1.2 second ping. Even if a first generation move to the moon, their kids won't put up with a 1.2+ second ping in halo, and will move back to earth when they are 16. So you see, it won't be sustainable.

      Nah, Moon kids set up our own FPS servers. Do you think we want to play with the Earth kids? Those guys crank the in-game gravity way up, about six times the realistic level. I mean, come on!

  • Oblig (Score:3, Funny)

    by russlar (1122455) on Friday October 09, 2009 @05:52PM (#29699095)
    "I have just signed legislation outlawing the Moon. We begin bombing in 5 minutes."
    • by PPH (736903)

      I'm sure the lunarites (or whatever the moon's resident race is called) are protesting Obama's Nobel Peace Prize at this very moment.

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@hacki s h . o rg> on Friday October 09, 2009 @05:56PM (#29699151)

    It might be worth pointing to the mission site [nasa.gov] or project site [nasa.gov] at NASA.

  • Is it just me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by clong83 (1468431) on Friday October 09, 2009 @05:59PM (#29699179)
    ... or does this posting say almost nothing? "We blew up a crater on the moon, and boy our data is great. Check back with you guys later."

    Is this just NASA-speak for "We haven't analyzed the data yet but we wanted to make some sort of comment anyways"?
    • by Chris Burke (6130)

      Yeah, that's exactly what they're saying. They recorded a lot of data, and it was the kind of data they wanted -- just in case you were worried the lack of the predicted totally awesome dust plume meant the whole mission was a failure -- but it's going to take a while to analyze so sorry no conclusions yet.

      Personally, I could give a crap about their data analysis and finding water blah blah. To me, the next step is clear: Repeat the mission, but without all that stupid science equipment garbage and inste

    • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Friday October 09, 2009 @06:08PM (#29699277) Homepage Journal
      It's NASA speak for "*sigh*, what the fuck are we even doing?"
    • Well it's not like the general public actually wants to see the data. They need to keep the public interested so that they can garner funding and you do that by making vague, general statements about "cool" stuff. It saddens me that more people aren't very interested in learning what is actually being done but the rest of us can just wait a few years for the papers to make their wait unto arXiv.

    • by mrsquid0 (1335303)

      It is more like NASA-speak for we do not have any cool publicity pictures yet, but we need to say something so that the twits of the world don't accuse us of sitting on the data.

    • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Friday October 09, 2009 @07:18PM (#29699915) Journal

      - We didn't miss the aim point.
        - None of the instruments malfunctioned.
        - We didn't lose the data on the way back.
        - We'll tell you what it means once we're done analyzing and checking it.

      In still other words "The project passed THE major milestone and is on track with nothing broken."

      • by Convector (897502)
        Well, I'm pretty sure the spacecraft and all its instruments are broken now. That WAS the milestone.
    • Yeah, but they're keeping a lot of artist employed, creating those pretty images and their impressions everyone keeps posting instead of actual images.

    • by Shag (3737)

      Is this just NASA-speak for "We haven't analyzed the data yet but we wanted to make some sort of comment anyways"?

      Yeah, it's standard boilerplate, probably defined verbatim in some policy manual somewhere. :)

      I was on Mauna Kea for the impact. Didn't detect anything visible from the parking lot of the Visitor Station (though I confess I haven't zoomed in on all 2,000+ images and however many video frames I got...) but they had a communications center set up at the mid-level facility, with one of the science PI's for the mission there, and all indications are that the spectroscopic data is really where it's at.

      And yes,

  • by ronsr (1653189) on Friday October 09, 2009 @06:01PM (#29699199)

    There's a nice sequence of screen-grabs showing the journey into lunar oblivion plus summary of the post-impact press conference here. [ninkinews.com]

    It was strange not seeing any massive impact plume like expected, but seems they got spectroscopic data which is what really matters. You got the sense that all the journos were disappointed there wasn't a big KABOOM with all those questions asked about it in the press conference.

    • by argStyopa (232550)

      I see this a lot of places "there wasn't a big explosion or anything"...were there even EXPLOSIVES on the impactor? Fuel? I'd guess there wasn't, as any sort of oxydizer probably would run the risk of confusing the data grabbed.

      So no, if you slam a chunk of essentially inert metal at a fairly high speed into a pile of gravel, you're not going to get a big Hollywood(tm) explosion.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        So no, if you slam a chunk of essentially inert metal at a fairly high speed into a pile of gravel, you're not going to get a big Hollywood(tm) explosion.

        A lump of metal going really fast can have more energy than a small explosive. F=MA, remember?

        The lack of a dust plume is interesting because it suggests that the craft didn't land in a deep pocket of dust, because dust tends to act like water when you put enough impact force in it, and the moon has no atmosphere to speak of so loosened debris tends to trace a neat parabola as it attempts to escape the moon's gravity well. Likewise, once a particle has been accelerated to escape velocity, it tends to remain

        • You say "energy" and then give the formula for force??? F=ma is for force. You want kinetic energy. Ek=(1/2)mv^2.
          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            AFAIK PE = F * D. If F increases... I am not a math nerd, but I'm pretty sure force is involved when you're talking about an impactor.

        • A lump of metal going really fast can have more energy than a small explosive. F=MA, remember?

          No I don't. In particular, I appear to have forgotten which of those three variables stands for kinetic energy.

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Friday October 09, 2009 @06:09PM (#29699289) Journal

    followed by "a whole lot of math and science".

    Pure orgasm.

  • by Titanarm (1640169)
    Jim: This just in, we have confirmed reports that the two NASA probes that slammed into the moon earlier today have irrevocably changed the moons trajectory in such a way that it will intersect with Earth's. Scientist's calculated that impact will oc
  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Friday October 09, 2009 @06:20PM (#29699405)

    All nine of those instruments were gathering data simultaneously and streaming that data back to Earth.

    Unfortunately, this high volume of data alerted the MPAA/RIAA that copyright theft was in progress, and their lawyers ordered a DMCA take down order to cut off data transmission from the moon. So not all the data was received.

    The Moon must appear in court in order for its data service to be restored.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's unfortunate that NASA hyped this up as much as they did, asking the nation to host "backyard impact parties" and saying you'll see it in your mid sized backyard telescope and whatever.

    This may have been a smashing success for the scientists, but each time they play up something that turns out to be a dud in the eyes of Joe Sixpack, they'll lose that much more public support. They're teetering on the brink as it is; people don't understand why they should be funding smashing things into the moon when t

  • While the science geek in me says cool!, the other side says, After 40 years, is this the BEST we can do?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by PhxBlue (562201)
      At least they didn't miss!
    • While the science geek in me says cool!, the other side says, After 40 years, is this the BEST we can do?

      After the Apollo program we pi**ed all the money away on Vietnam, a string of other wars, and "The Great Society" welfare programs. These were all run on the national credit card until the interest on the account is now sucking down more than the income tax provides.

      The value was sucked out of the economy and disposed of by government until, despite what advancements WERE made since with what resource

    • by symbolset (646467)

      If you're over 50, it's your fault. If you're under 40, blame your parents. If you're under 25, do something about it: remind yourself that new lands belong to them what claim them.

    • First NASA spacecraft to slam into the moon was Ranger 4 in 1962.

      Of course, back then they didn't crash-land on purpose... ;)

  • Did that guy ever get his high-five?

  • The real reason that there was no plume is that the moon is so frickin' wet with water at the poles the probes each stuck in the mud with a mighty *splat*. We're talking the kind of mud that sucks the boots right off your feet, so muddy they'll have to jack up the cows to milk them.

  • Seriously, didn't the ISRO just do this? And wasn't NASA was given free passage for any equipment they wanted to include? As I recall [wikipedia.org], the mission was a success. [wikipedia.org]

    • by t_little (91171)
      The LCROSS mission selected a polar crash site that was in permanent shadow in order to find out whether a lot more water was trapped there than the small amounts found by Chandrayaan.
    • by Cochonou (576531)
      This is a satellite that reported in a lot of good scientific data, but that still had critical design flaws - it failed after less than a year in orbit, when it was supposed to live on a two-year mission.
  • Barack Obama, the President of Earth, has controversially launched an attack on the Lunar Imperium [today.com] the same day he received the Nobel Peace Prize for not being George W. Bush.

    "We closely examined Mr Obama's record over the past nine months," said Nobel Prize committee chair Thorbjørn Jagland, "and have established to our satisfaction that he has succeeded in not been George W. Bush in any manner whatsoever. Also, the flying cars, moving sidewalks and robot servants he brought in are pretty cool."

    Th

  • I live in Colorado, and I haven't seen the Moon since they blew it up, and our weather turned cold, snowy, and icy right afterwards. I can't help but think the Moon is gone, so has anyone else seen it lately?
  • I can't believe nobody has figured it out yet! The moon IS made of CHEESE! I think the Centaur and LCROSS just went straight through, and came out the opposite side in a stream of molten mozzarella!

    I scoff at the "good data" NASA received - seriously, what do you expect lobbing a satellite into a hunk of gouda?

    Golly, IANARS (not a rocket scientist) and even I figured that one out!

    -SixD

"Turn on, tune up, rock out." -- Billy Gibbons

Working...