back to article NASA iceberg-finder prangs into Moon's south pole

NASA has successfully crashed a spent rocket stage and accompanying probe-craft into the Cabeus crater in the lunar antarctic. Space-agency boffins are now eagerly harvesting a flood of data from telescopes, orbiters and the probe itself in order to find out if valuable water ice has been discovered by the impact. Here's a …

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Boffin

What plume?

Watched the rather impressive real-time camera view of the following ship as Centaur hit the surface............... nothing.

Thats fine, its the size of a bus and hit the moon at 6000mph, the ejecta will kick up soon.....

Nothing.

It looked like LCROSS came in fairly close to impact site and we had a clear view all the way down, why didn't we see bugger all?

Did the Clangers deploy the big mattress in time?

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Grenade

Dave suddenly realised he'd left the oven on?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DGTzTIYBd4

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Stop

Don't try this on Mars!

Or we might piss the Mysterons off big time!

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Welcome

fake

I watched the first 2 mins of that video and maybe its just me, but it doesnt look all that real !!!

i'd swear it was done on a computer.

Further proof that man never went to the moon and this didnt happen either !!

What Fridge?

happy friday

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FAIL

Bollocks

Everybody knows the moon is made of cheese :-P

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Paris Hilton

Tut tut tut...

Women drivers, eh?

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Gold badge
Joke

Re: What plume?

Maybe it hit a snowdrift?

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LCROSS, by Atari

Did anyone else see the Atlas logo on the side of the launch tower and think "Atari??"

That's a right royal logo rip-off, right there. One for El Reg's LogoWatch?

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I went out for a look and saw nothing.

Admittedly it was 12,31 pm and cloudy.

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FAIL

Splud.

Now we know exactly what happens when 1.5 tons of TNT meets green cheese.

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Flame

Nutters please note

The LCROSS impact was equivalent to 1.5 Tonnes of TNT. That's SIGNIFICANTLY less than modern weaponry.

Now please STFU, GTFO, and, if you'd care to oblige, DIAF.

kthx

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Coat

wait for it

No, *you* were supposed to put the film in the camera, *I* had to turn the gas off.

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Gold badge
FAIL

Re: What plume?

The raw data from any experiments is often pretty underwhelming. In this case, most of the data hasn't actually been transmitted back to Earth yet, raw or otherwise, so it's hardly surprising everyone is disappointed.

Fail, because NASA's PR department has just added yet another point to Joe Public's "Aren't scientists weird?" dataset.

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Alien

Monoliths!

nuff said

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@"Don't try this on Mars!"

Yeah, but we might hit that guy who keeps posting things, here, in the comments section (assuming he's not an ex-pat Martian).

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Bronze badge

Impresive?

You'd have thought hitting a large target like the moon wasn't that difficult, however, given that they're Americans, hitting the right moon orbiting the right planet is very impressive!

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FAIL

Nowt

Just watched the post-mission press conference...

They have all the worlds observatories that could see the moon trained on it, and no plume.

They showed vids during and after impact, that showed f-all.

Did it hit a rich vein of cheese?

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FAIL

Speed?

The LCROSS website FAQ says it was to hit the Moon at ~40km/s - yet all the press (even from NASA) are talking about "Twice the speed of a bullet". Now, even high-velocity weapons only have muzzle velocities of ~2km/s, so at that speed, I'm not surprised nothing happened - I doubt it even cratered the regolith.

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FAIL

TNT

Maybe they've discovered that TNT doesn't work at very low temperatures?

Dave

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Pint

@ first comment

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space."

That's probably why it didn't look like much. Or were you expecting a big death star style explosion? Science Fiction movies spoil us.

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Joke

No plume ?

I bet they missed the moon, because the darn thing was GPS piloted, and it went out of the sphere of operation.

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Stop

Moon calling NASA... Moon calling NASA...

Hello NASA.

We have The Moon's insurers on line one, wanting to talk with you about a recent double satellite-crash which they claim has caused significant material damage to their client's property.

[Please pick up the red Interplanetary SpacePhone to take this call]

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Alien

Mutineer's Moon (David Weber)

I was kind of hoping for Dahak to respond.

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Anonymous Coward

No plume

Those expecting a mighty plume of debris to be kicked up need to check their science books. Atmosphere Moon != atmosphere Earth

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IMPRESSIVE!

I was more impressed at the speed that the NASA staff packed up and went home after the impact!

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Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Moon juice

"Moon juice would also be hugely valuable for operations in Earth orbit, as it would be easier to get it there than it is to boost it up through Earth's powerful gravity well and troublesome atmosphere. Some have even suggested that lunar rocket-fuel factories could turn a tidy profit selling their product to satellite operators above Earth."

Erm, this stuff that's going to come back from the moon and fill up a satelite (I'm thinking some poor guy trudging down the hard shoulder with a petrol can). Unless I'm being really thick, then they have to get this petrol can up to the moon in the first place (and then back). Wouldn't it be easier just to fill up the petrol can here and send it? Unless this is going to be a reusable petrol can, which will mean servicing it in space.

Paris, cos she can fulfil servicing anywhere.

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Coat

Impressive, but....

...not quite as impressive as the British-built Beagle 2 Iceberg-finder that was pranged into Mars in 2003.

Still waiting for data from that probe.

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Paris Hilton

Dumb & Dumber

So why didnt they think of doing it 40 years earlier? Would have saved everyone a tidy (VERY TIDY & LARGE) packet of money.

AT least they could have detonated a proper dambuster/ Iraq style bunker bomb to get any meaningful plume and data!

Alas, the Yanks. Good in figures, bad in geography.

Pairs, cos she aint a bombshell anymore!

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Anonymous Coward

@Matt 21

Maybe the US should have called upon Colin Pillinger. He knows how to smash expensive gear into distant objects.

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Can't understand..

http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/black_helicopters_32.png

Why was it necessary to crash the 2nd craft? If they had kept it intact then they could have used it again for another go. Or are they hiding something?

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Thumb Down

Disappointing feed

The feed cut for me right before impact it was like an hour of foreplay only to miss the vinegar stroke.

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FAIL

We need a bigger weapon

Now, how heavy is that piss-filter I keep harping on about?

Yours Sincerely, Dave @ Dave's Scrapyard, London, England. (Looking for a well-distant landfill site. ADDENDUM: Yup, found it. Drop anything in it, no-one can see the effect. On the moon, natch.)

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@Joe K

Nah. It went into a Soup Well.

Blue String Pudding anyone?

WS

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I only hope

that if the Man in the Moon retaliates, Gaia will be equally impassive and unimpressed. Else we could all be fucked.

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FAIL

@Annihilator RE: Moon Juice

Firstly, got to love the highly technical term. Its not moon juice, its the liquid that comes from a tub of cottage cheese.

Anyway, the fuel canister would have to be reusable, but there is one *tiny* flaw in the plan of using the Moon as the neighborhood petrol quickee-mart. Satellites aren't generally fueled up with Liquid Hydrogen / Liquid Oxygen like the Shuttle is. The on-orbit engines are powered by hydrazine, for both the shuttle and satellites.

If you plan on filling a single-tank vehicle with a binary fuel that has a nasty explosive relationship when mixed... The results will be most entertaining for everyone except the blighter with that petrol can. Will they send up a mechanic to add a second tank to all these orbiting birds? Doubtful.

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@Shadowman2009

"Why was it necessary to crash the 2nd craft? If they had kept it intact then they could have used it again for another go. Or are they hiding something?"

Simple physics.

The 2nd craft traveled with the upper stage the whole way, going the same direction at the same speed, splitting at the last hour or so.

This means that at the end, they were _both_ heading straight for the Moon at about 9,000 kph.

Of course, the point of LCROSS was to get observations of the actual impact, which means it cannot change course; it _must_ be there when the upper stage hits the dirt.

The LCROSS is only 4 minutes behind, at which point it would require a few times its own mass in fuel to avoid collision.

Not to sound patronizing, but look up the Rocket Equation and play with it a bit to see what it really takes to change your velocity by 9,000 kph! Then compare it with how much fuel the thing actually carried...

Anyway, its all irrelevant. Once the upper stage goes in, the LCROSS has nothing left to observe; there can't be a 2nd round because there's no 2nd bullet!

Giving LCROSS the ability to become a lunar satellite after the mission would have radically driven up costs in ways you haven't even thought of.

It would be superfluous because the whole point of the upper stage was to send the LRO (the main lunar sat) into lunar orbit. LCROSS was just a scheme they conjured up to do something with the upper stage instead of throwing it away.

The goal here is cheap, cheap, cheap!

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Paris Hilton

Toxic Waste Dump..

It's a conspiracy I tells ya, I heard from this bloke down the pub who's brother's son's nephew's mate who knows the cleaner at PC World where the manager knows Bill Gates' Auntie's pool boy's mate personally that Microsoft paid NASA to dispose of all the unsold copies of Vista by hiding them on the moon and covering it up by telling everyone they were looking for water.

Paris, a different kind of waste dump...

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Anonymous Coward

@Matt 21

Um so how is the british space program doing ??

Yeah a British rocket with Lucas electronics.

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Gold badge
Coat

Refuelling earth orbiting satallites from the moon

It's true the moon escape velocity would make it much easier to lauch and dock with sats int he geosynchronous orbit, which is the most valuable one.

However 2 problems exist.

Most current comm sats (actually most sats in general) are not designed to allow on-orbit servicing or refuelling (although its been talked about for decades and heavily influenced the Shuttle programme)

The fuel they use is either storable liquid amin derivatives (very nasty) or Xenon for an ion drive.

I'm not sure how much nitrogen is knocking about the lunar surface, but I'll bet it's a lot less than oxygen and will need a *lot* more processing to get it in a form those sats could use. IE the startup costs ar going to be big.

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WTF?

One has to ask WHY?

.........what was the point of the whole exercise? So there may be ice on the moon - so what? Surely the money spent on this 'mission' could have been directed to better use, considering the current crisis.............

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