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Old 06-18-2009, 02:15 PM   #1
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Default Lunar Reconaissance Orbiter (LRO) Launch Today

NASA will be launching the LRO today between 4 and 4:30 pm Central time today. A group of Scientists and Engineers in my Division (Space Science and Engineering) at SwRI built one of the instruments on the spacecraft, the Lyman-Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP). It is going to look for water ice on the Moon which is important for future Lunar landing missions.
LAMP Educational Site (SwRI/DMNS)

Cross your fingers for us
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:32 PM   #2
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Flying out of Canaveral?
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:43 PM   #3
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Yep, Cape Canaveral on an Atlas V Rocket (ELV)
Atlas V - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:56 PM   #4
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They couldnt look for water and ice when they went there?
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Old 06-18-2009, 05:07 PM   #5
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Damn that's to early. It might still be to bright to see it from here.
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Old 06-18-2009, 05:10 PM   #6
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Not where the Apollo missions landed. The Scientists believe that the ice only exists in the regions that do not ever see sunlight, like in the bottoms of shaded craters at the poles. There is effectively no atmosphere on the moon, so as soon as it is exposed to sunlight, it evaporates/sublimates, and (I think) is gone 'forever'. So I believe the deal is that any ice that is still there has been there for a very long time, and never exposed to sunlight.

The Apollo missions landed on the lit portions of the moon. If there was ice there at all, it would have probably been buried deep underground, too deep for the Astronauts' core samples to get to. But then again, I am not a Scientist, just an Engineer, so I am certainly no expert on Lunar ice theory . As usual with space exploration, no one knows for sure until probes are sent, and even then the data may be uncertain and open to debate and speculation.

The LCROSS lunar impact is not until August IIRC, exact time and date TBD later depending on which crater they end up targeting.

The NASA Channel is covering the launch BTW. I am at home watching it now, channel 283 on DirecTV

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Old 06-18-2009, 05:41 PM   #7
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in for "space-docking" crew.
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Old 06-18-2009, 05:59 PM   #8
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my old roommate's sister space docks the shuttle at the international space station.

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Old 06-18-2009, 07:00 PM   #9
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^^ Nice

Good launch! Whoohoo!
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