The New Zealand Herald syndicates an article from Steve Connor of the Independent about the surprising lack of a huge dust plume after the LCROSS Impact on Friday.
The Impact, which was designed by NASA scientists to elicit more information on the amount of water in the moon’s soil, was achieved by crashing two separate pieces of a spacecraft into a crater on the Moon’s surface. It is hoped that presence of water there could spur space exploration.
An excerpt: (read in full here)
“Finding water in the Cabeus crater would have immense implications for space exploration. Not only would it provide a source of drinking water for a permanently-manned lunar base, but also a source of hydrogen for making rocket fuel to visit Mars and beyond.
“A means to produce rocket fuel on the Moon could make a more ambitious space exploration programme feasible at lower cost. While the Moon’s surface is full of oxygen in mineral forms, hydrogen is the other key element that could make rocket fuel production practical on the Moon,” Nasa said.
“More than a dozen professional telescopes monitored the impact from Earth, which was also analysed by a handful of space telescopes, including the Hubble. They could add further critical data on the detection or otherwise of the hydroxyl molecule, to confirm the presence of frozen water in shaded craters where temperatures never rise above about -210C.”