NASA AMES…Getting Mooned Again

LCROSS_Centaur_Sep_small-1I remember joyfully when Mom used to let me cut school for NASA launches and re-entries. Had I had more of a mathematical and scientific personality vs a creative, ADD mentality, I might have become a pilot or astronaut.

I have spent the majority of this great life exploring inner space through meditation with Guru Sri Chinmoy and that’s been an extraordinary, life-changing experience.

Still, I’m still really excited that NASA’s Ames facility in Silicon Valley is managing the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission. This is a pretty cool effort to help determine if there is water hidden in the permanently dark craters of one of the moon’s poles.

NASA plans to crash a vehicle into the moon’s south pole and fly a partner craft through the huge plume created by the crash to analyze it for signs of water and other compounds. Additional space and earth-based instruments also will study the plume, which scientists expect to be larger than 200 metric tons.

If there are substantial amounts of water ice there, it could be used by astronauts to make rocket fuel when they later visit the moon. The $79 million crash is expected to take place in October.

I’m all for going to the moon and Mars while dealing with all the other financial and social exigencies on earth. Space exploration has, in past, challenged America to brilliant innovation, and resulted in all kinds of new products and services.

And we must redirect the innovation driving America’s weapons industry into clean tech, space tech and other more peaceful manifestations of science.

Follow LCROSS on Twitter.

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