Has a hyperactive five-year-old taken over as the director of NASA? It sure seems like it. On Friday morning, an unmanned spacecraft launched in June will crash into the moon's surface. On purpose.
Anyone not named Michael Bay is likely to ask why. Here's the answer: NASA wants to know if the twin impacts of the Lunar Crater Observation and its Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) will reveal any ice or water under the moon's surface.
Finding out shouldn't be an issue. When the twin crafts hit the lunar surface at around 6,000 mph, NASA expects "plumes of moon dust — perhaps full of ice — (to soar) 6.2 miles high above the moon's Cabeus crater."
Anticipation among the earthbound is running high. Lookups on "nasa moon bombing" are scorching the search box. Related queries on "nasa.gov" and "NASA moon mission" are also rocketing skywards. More than a few folks are wondering how much the soon-to-be-destroyed LCROSS costs. Answer: $79 million, according to Christian Science Monitor.
Clearly, this is one of those cases where a picture is worth a thousand words. We're gonna go one better and show you a video from NASA. The animated clip shows what NASA expects to happen. The entire sequence looks a bit like one of Dr. Evil's satellites crashing into the Death Star. In other words, it's awesome. See it for yourself below.