Connect to the Mission


Facebook › Facebook→

twitter› Twitter→

LCROSS Project Site

Artist concept of LCROSS

The Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), managed by NASA's Ames Research Center in California, launched with LRO on June 18, 2009. LCROSS will search for water ice in a permanently shadowed crater near one of the moon's poles.

› Visit the site

LCROSS Observation Campaign

The Keck Observatories in Hawaii.

View the LCROSS impacts on the surface of the moon. Join the LCROSS Observation Campaign!

› Read More

LCROSS Lunar Swingby Streaming Video (Launch +5 days)

    Two Perspectives of the LCROSS Lunar Swingby

    Overview
    Approximately five days after launch, LCROSS performed a lunar swingby to enter into an elongated polar Earth orbit. This orbit positions LCROSS for impact on the lunar south pole (see mission overview video) on Oct. 9, 2009. Shortly after periselene, the time of closest approach to the lunar surface, the LCROSS science payload was switched on for the duration of one hour.

    During the swingby , the spacecraft's instruments calibrated by scanning three sites on the lunar surface. These sites were the craters Mendeleev, Goddard C and Giordano Bruno. They were selected because they offer a variety of terrain types, compositions and illumination conditions. The spacecraft also scanned the lunar horizon to confirm its instruments are aligned in preparation for observing the Centaur's debris plume.

    The following videos show two perspectives of the LCROSS lunar swingby. The first video is taken from the LCROSS visible light camera and the animation is a 3-D is representation of the spacecraft based to actual telemetry recieved during the swingby. Both videos are condensed in timeframe.

    Visible Light Footage


    Animation Footage



    Swingby images
    Visible Context Camera NIR1 Camera MIR1 (Thermal) Camera
    The three images show Target 2, Goddard C Crater, as seen through a visible context camera, an NIR1 Camera, and a MIR1 (thermal) camera. LCROSS was approximately 8500 km. from the target when these images were made. Goddard Crater is seen along the border between day and night (the terminator) in the center of the visible context image. These images are raw, unprocesses, and uncorrected. Credit: NASA/Ames Reseearch Center

    Edited Video of the Swingby and Launch

    Graphic visualizations of the early part of the LCROSS orbit leading up to lunar swingby. Graphic visualizations of the early part of the LCROSS orbit leading up to lunar swingby.
    Graphic visualizations of the early part of the LCROSS orbit leading up to lunar swingby. Graphic visualizations of the early part of the LCROSS orbit leading up to lunar swingby.
    Graphic visualizations of the early part of the LCROSS orbit leading up to lunar swingby at Launch +5 days. The blue line represents the Earth's orbit around the sun. The white circle is the moon's orbit around the Earth. The yellow line is the orbit of the LCROSS spacecraft. The intersection of the yellow line with the moon's orbit represents the Launch +5 days lunar swingby. Credit: NASA/Ames Research Center