NASA's Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) is scheduled to strike a permanently-shadowed crater on the moon's south pole Oct. 9 at 6:30 a.m., CDT.
The impact is expected to create a plume of dust 6.2 miles high. Prior to the impact, the LCROSS shepherding spacecraft will separate from its accompanying Centaur upper stage rocket. About four minutes after the Centaur slams into the moon, the shepherding spacecraft will fly through the dust plume, collecting samples and relaying data back to Earth before impacting the lunar surface and creating a second plume. The data collected will be used to search for water ice, an important resource for future exploration missions.
The debris plumes will be observed by NASA using Earth- and space-based telescopes. Individuals are expected to be able to view the plumes using telescopes 10 to 12 inches in diameter or larger.
NASA's coverage of the mission will begin at 5:30 a.m. and can be seen on NASA-TV or online at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.
For information about Stennis Space Center, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/stennis/.
For more information, call the NASA Public Affairs Office at Stennis at
1-800-237-1821 or 228-688-3333.
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