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Moon NASA Space

How NASA Will Bomb the Moon To Find Water 280

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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  • by MyLongNickName ( 822545 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @12:14PM (#24616763) Journal

    My God. Has the IQ of Slashdot dropped twenty points in the last fifteen minutes?

  • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) * on Friday August 15, 2008 @12:24PM (#24616909) Homepage

    Should NASA really be pursuing things that could ultimately fuck all of humanity up by breaking our tide?

    If you are indeed worried about this, perhaps a remedial course in physics is in order. You might start a couple of books before the ones on orbital mechanics.

    If you're funn'in us - well, sorry - not quite enough caffeine here.

  • by petermgreen ( 876956 ) <.plugwash. .at. .p10link.net.> on Friday August 15, 2008 @12:28PM (#24616971) Homepage

    Simple physics tells us that bombing it with any bomb we currently have or are likely to have in the forseeable future will make no measurable difference and probablly a lot less difference than the various natural rocks that have hit the moon over the centuries.

  • Re:Earth's Orbit? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Colonel Korn ( 1258968 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @12:33PM (#24617047)

    Virtually all of the mass of this mission, except for maybe a little rocket propellant, will stay within the Earth-Moon system, so the center of gravity of the two won't change. In other words, no, this won't affect Earth's Orbit thanks to CONSERVATION OF MOMENTUM!!

  • Thank you. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BitterOldGUy ( 1330491 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @12:40PM (#24617201)

    I have mod points, but I don't know whether to rate you -1 Off Topic or +1 Funny

    Hopefully someone else can make the proper call as I do a quick search for Amazon moon women.

    That's decent of you. I wish more folks would do that. When I first started, someone gave me a -1 Troll for what I thought was something quite funny. Well the deal is, even if I have a +5 Funny, modding me -1 whatever gives the comment an overall score of -1. And if you're just starting out, well, you post from then on at 0 or -1 if another didn't get or didn't like the joke.

  • 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

  • Re:Fahrenheit? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @12:58PM (#24617479) Homepage

    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 Celsius scale has way more precision than we need in day-to-day life; people usually think in terms such as "it's around zero today", "it's just above zero", "it's around 5", "a bit below 10", "low dozens" and so on...

    PS. All this critique from somebody who's compatriot of Daniel Fahrenheit...

  • 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.


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