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20071205

NASA's plan to bomb the moon.

NASA is launching a 5,000-pound (2,270-kilogram) Centaur rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida to determine whether the moon ever contained water or ice. To do this, NASA is bombing the moon with "impactors" that will blast a hole in the lunar surface using a missile flying at 5,600 mph (9,000 km/hour) or roughly twice the speed of a bullet. The impactors will create a crater roughly 60 feet (20 meters) wide and roughly 16 feet (5 meters) deep while close to 400 tons of lunar dust and soil will be ejected.

The impacts will be analyzed for the presence or water or ice or as NASA calls it:

"hydrated minerals"
.

"LCROSS will blast the permanently dark floor of one of the Moon's polar craters with two heavy impactors early in 2009 to test the theory that ancient ice lies buried there."

The event will cause a huge plume of debris that will be visible with anyone with a 10-inch (25-cm) telescope, as well as on the Internet.

Launching: 2008

Arrival: 2009

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