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TOPIC: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter


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RE: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
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The images below of the lunar crater Cabeus were taken on October 9, 2009 with the Palomar Observatory's 200-inch (5-meter) Hale Telescope and its Adaptive Optics. Cabeus crater is located in the center, behind the large bright mountain.   Cabeus was the target of the NASA LCROSS mission. The crater was chosen because it was thought to contain a substantial amount of ice. It was hoped by the LCROSS mission team that the impact would send an ejecta plume above the lunar surface, which could be observed from ground-based telescopes, but no plume was observed.
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Scientists said NASA's moon-smashing mission produced enough data on Friday to address questions about lunar water ice - but the crash didn't come close to meeting public expectations as a cosmic fireworks show.

"Today we kicked up some moondust, and all indications are we are going to have some really interesting results" - Pete Worden, director of NASA's Ames Research Centre in California.

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Diviner Observes LCROSS Impact
The LRO Diviner instrument obtained infrared observations of the LCROSS impact this morning. LRO flew by the LCROSS Centaur impact site 90 seconds after impact at a distance of ~80 km. Diviner was commanded to observe the impact site on eight successive orbits, and obtained a series of thermal maps before and after the impact at approximately two hour intervals at an angle of approximately 48 degrees off nadir.

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Early observations show no debris plume in the search for ice.
For many astronomers, NASA's frontal assault on the Moon ended in a fizzle on Friday. The Lunar Crater Remote Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) crashed near the lunar south pole as planned, but an expected plume of bright debris was nowhere to be seen.

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No plume was seen from Palomar.

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NASA puzzles over 'invisible' moon impact
At the Ames Research Centre near Palo Alto, California, scientists and engineers with the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) peered in silent concentration as successive images of the crater Cabeus grew larger on their screens. Shortly after 4:31 am Pacific time (12:31 BST) there was no telltale flash to be seen from the expected collision of a 2366-kilogram booster rocket into the permanently shadowed crater, located near the moon's south pole.

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MMT Observatory videos

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Nasa's LCROSS moon impact in pictures

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No lunar fireworks as craft crash
NASA slammed two spacecraft into the Moon today in a bid to find water - but any lunar fireworks hoped for turned out to be a damp squib.

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NASA Spacecraft Impacts Lunar Crater in Search for Water Ice
NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, created twin impacts on the moon's surface early Friday in a search for water ice. Scientists will analyse data from the spacecraft's instruments to assess whether water ice is present.
The satellite travelled 9 million kilometres during an historic 113-day mission that ended in the Cabeus crater, a permanently shadowed region near the moon's south pole. The spacecraft was launched June 18 as a companion mission to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter from NASA's Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

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