Brace for Impact! A Schedule of Events for the Final Day

Our last day in flight promises to be the most challenging and the most rewarding for the project.  Our 112 days in orbit are focused entirely on the last four minutes, after the Centaur impacts our target crater and raises a plume of lunar material for the LCROSS Shepherding Spacecraft to observe for signs of water, but before the Shepherd also impacts the moon. 

From a Flight Team perspective, the LCROSS impact sequence is a dream occasion, and yet provides some cause for trepidation.  Many things can go wrong, and with so little time, there is only so much that can be done. 

During you day tomorrow, I thought it might be fun for you to know what the Flight Team will be doing in lead-up to the event.  To put it plainly, we won’t be idle!  Enjoy!

A Recent Development: TCM 9 put LCROSS On-Target

The latest data from our Navigation team indicates that TCM 9 has already put LCROSS on target to hit the designated impact area, without the need for executing TCM 10 on Thursday evening. Our predicted impact point is already within our target 3.5 km diameter circle, and our team will only make very small adjustments to improve our impact accuracy.  This alters our original plan for Thursday.

Instead of performing TCM 10, the team will plan and execute a very slow rotation by feeding the spacecraft new target attitudes each minute (see “Once More Around the Earth” for a description of our “quaternion creep” attitude change) to minimally disturb the current orbit while turning to an orientation that is optimal for Separation.  At Separation, LCROSS will use the velocity imparted by the springs between the LCROSS Shepherding Spacecraft and the Centaur (adding an estimated 15 cm/s to the Centaur) as a final means of nudging the Centaur toward the center of our target.  Analysis of the Centaur separation springs, along with actual tests of the system conducted to simulate very harsh conditions of space (far harsher than LCROSS has actually experienced) indicate the separation will impart a fairly precise change in velocity to the Centaur. 

This plan represents less risk (the slow attitude change will be simpler to plan, test and execute than a TCM), and introduces less uncertainty into the prediction of our impact point (firing thrusters for very short durations adds a lot of uncertainty, while the separation springs in the LCROSS-Centaur interface mechanism are very repeatable).  We’re fortunate to find ourselves in this situation, and we’ll take full advantage of it to ensure we impact on-target.

DOY 281 (October 8): TCM 10 (or not), Separation, Centaur Observation and Braking Burn

The last 24 hours of the mission, bridging DOY 281 and 281 (October 8 and 9), will be a flurry of activity.  Here is the sequence of events.  I’ve provided both UTC and Pacific Daylight Time references:

  • 08:00 UTC/01:00 PDT: Final orbit determination delivery for Separation.  The Navigation team delivers its final orbit determination to the Maneuver Design Team.  This final trajectory estimate will be the basis for planning our slow rotation, Separation and Braking Burn.
  • Maneuver planning and communications link analysis for slow rotation through Braking Burn. For eight hours, the Maneuver Design team will determine the optimal attitude for Separation (when we let go of the Centaur), then plan and double-check plans for the slow rotation, Separation and Braking Burn.  Braking Burn happens after Separation, so will have no influence on the path of the Centaur.  It accomplishes two things: first, it slows our Shepherding Spacecraft with respect to the Centaur, such that at the time of Centaur impact, the spacecraft will be 4 minutes behind it.  This allows LCROSS to observe the Centaur impact while not being too close (risking damage from debris) and not being too far away.  Second, the Braking Burn independently targets the Shepherding Spacecraft impact point, which will be a few kilometers away from the Centaur impact point.  During the same time period, the Communications Link Analyst will refine his estimate of our communications link margin through all phases of the slow rotation, Separation and Braking Burn.
  • 13:00 UTC/06:00 PDT: Separation Activity Selection Review (ASR): Our team knows every last detail of what activities we’ll be running, but this meeting is our last chance to change any part of the command sequence, based on late-breaking data (e.g. changes on the spacecraft, etc).  The Maneuver Design Team and Communications Analysis Teams will present their results here, and will form the basis of command generation.
  • 14:00 UTC/07:00 PDT: Command generation and checking for Separation through Braking Burn. Our Activity Planning and Sequencing Engineer will generate all of the command sequences for TCM 10, Separation, Braking Burn, a preliminary version of Impact, as well as for several contingency cases.  He will hand his products over to both Engineering Analysis, and to the Simulation Engineer, who provide different aspects of quality assurance checks.  Engineering Analysis performs a number of computer-based checking against LCROSS flight rules to make everything in the sequence is legal.  Both the Simulation Engineer and the Engineering Analyst will run the commands on our spacecraft simulator to confirm that they do what we want.  During this time, Shift B (Flight Directory Rusty Hunt’s shift) will hand off to Shift A (my shift).  Shift B will get some sleep, and return before Impact.  Shift A will oversee all of the events through Braking Burn.
  • 19:00 UTC/12:00 PDT: Separation Command Approval Meeting (CAM): This is our final, team-level review of all plans, command products and quality assurance data before executing the slow rotation through Braking Burn.  We’ll make sure everything is correct, over a 90 minute review.  Then we’ll move to our seats in the Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR) to begin execution.
  • 20:30 UTC/13:30 PDT: Command loads for Separation, Centaur Observation and Braking Burn, and slow rotation to Separation attitude. Once “on console”, Shift A’s first priority will be to load the commands for Separation, Centaur Observation and Braking Burn.  We then turn our attention to the slow rotation to the Separation attitude, by loading the burn commands to the spacecraft in an alternate memory bank.  The slow rotation command sequence will re-orient the spacecraft from our Cruise attitude to the Separation attitude.  We’ll confirm the loaded parameters, and then wait for the reorientation to start.
  • ~00:00 UTC/17:00 PDT: Slow rotation to Separation attitude starts.  The maneuver is small, only 6 degrees or so, but will happen in chunks of less than 0.5 degrees each minute.  The onboard command sequence automatically switches over to our Separation, Centaur Observation and Braking Burn command sequence, just in case we lose communications with LCROSS.  In that off-nominal scenario, Separation would still happen without ground-based commanding by our team.
  • 01:40 UTC/18:40 PDT: Separation onboard command sequence starts.  The pre-Separation command sequence starts running.  Ten minutes to Separation.
  • 01:50 UTC/18:50 PDT: Separation.  Commands temporarily disable our ACS, then fire the relays that unlock the Centaur from our spacecraft.  Heavy springs push the Centaur and spacecraft apart at roughly 0.7 m/s, a firm but gentle shove.  The Centaur will accelerate approximately 15 cm/s, but with our optimal orientation, only 3.5 cm/s will be used for Centaur targeting.  After Separation, the ACS is re-activated with an entirely new set of parameters to handle the vastly different mass properties. With the Centaur separated, LCROSS will just have lost 2000 kg of mass.  The spacecraft motion (dynamics) will now behave very differently.  The Flight Team has only 10-15 seconds to confirm that Separation has occurred, and if not, only 50 seconds more to terminate the command sequence to progress any further.  We have practiced this critical timing many, many times.
  • 01:51 UTC/18:51 PDT: Flip to point LCROSS instruments at Centaur.  Just 1 minute 6 seconds after Separation, the onboard command sequence initiates a 180 degree pitch flip to point spacecraft cameras at the departing Centaur.  This takes less than 3 minutes to perform.  The command sequence also powers up the Data Handling Unit (DHU), which powers the science instruments, in preparation for Centaur Observation.  Following the pitch flip, commands roll the spacecraft to optimize the pointing of our omni-directional antenna toward Earth for best downlink rate.  At the end of the pitch maneuver, the Flight Team will re-configure the LCROSS downlink data rate for 256 kbps, and will command the DHU to go to a high-rate camera sampling sequence.  Imagery of the departing Centaur, with the moon in the background, will begin flowing to Earth.
  • 02:01 UTC/19:01 PDT: End of Centaur Observation.  Nineteen minutes after Separation, with the Centaur nearly 800 meters away, the Centaur Observation will terminate.  The Flight Team will reconfigure the communications downlink rate for Braking Burn (64 kbps).  The onboard command sequence automatically re-orients the spacecraft to the final burn attitude, and then squeezes down our attitude control deadband from 3.0 degrees to 0.1 degrees, in preparation for Braking Burn.
  • 02:30 UTC/19:30 PDT: Braking Burn starts.  This burn is longer our last few TCM’s, just over four minutes.  This is because there’s not much time remaining in the mission to build up a 4-minute delay between the Centaur and the Sheperding Spacecraft.  At the end of the burn, the onboard command sequence will re-orient the spacecraft to our Cruise attitude. 
  • ~03:00 UTC/20:00 PDT: Preliminary Impact command load.  As a precaution, the Flight Team will load a preliminary command sequence for Impact to the spacecraft.  If we lost communications with LCROSS sometime after this point, up until the final few minutes, this command sequence should be sufficient to point the LCROSS cameras at the Centaur impact point, run the instruments, and meet all mission objectives. However, before Impact, the team will re-estimate the orbit of the Centaur and Shepherding Spacecraft, and re-plan Impact with the best possible information.
  • 03:30 UTC/20:30 PDT: Shift Handover.  Shift A (my shift) hands control over to Shift B.  Shift B will oversee the Impact event.  We’ll review the status of the spacecraft, in particular the dynamic behavior following Separation, and any last-minute items.
  • 04:30 UTC/21:30 PDT: Final Orbit Determination Delivery. The Navigation team delivers its final estimate of the spacecraft and Centaur orbit. The spacecraft’s orbit can be measured directly, while, without a communications transponder aboard the Centaur, we have no direct measure of the Centaur’s orbit after Separation.  This final orbit determination will become the basis for Impact command sequences, in particular the spacecraft attitude sequence to maintain pointing on the Impact site, and the Impact timing.
  • Final Impact Planning and Command Generation: The Mission Design team will re-plan Impact using the latest orbit data from the Navigation team.  The changes between preliminary and final Impact plan will be very subtle.  The plan involves literally hundreds of Shepherding Spacecraft orientation changes to keep the onboard science instruments pointing at the expected Centaur impact point as we approach the moon.  The new orbit estimate will change all of these orientations very slightly.  The Sequencing Engineer will re-implement the command sequences, then pass his results to the Engineering Analyst and Simulation Engineer for final checking. 
  • 6:30 UTC/23:30 PDT: Disabling LCROSS Fault Management. Shift B will begin configuring LCROSS for the Impact.  One of the first steps is to nearly completely disable the LCROSS onboard fault management system.  Fault Management responds automatically to correct problems it detects onboard.  Sometimes these are benign responses, like switching from a primary sensor to a backup sensor. Other times, the responses can be all-encompassing.  It might seem strange to disable this function right before our most important phase of the mission.  However, the last thing the Flight Team wants is for a problem onboard the spacecraft to interrupt our Impact observations.  Some fault management responses are designed to throw LCROSS into a Survival State, turning off all power to the science payload, and disabling any onboard command sequences.  This could mean disaster for the Science Team, since there would not necessarily be sufficient time to recover and return to the pre-Impact configuration.  So, only minor fault management is enabled, but the more severe responses are disabled.  In preparation for Impact, aside from disabling fault management, Shift B will also coordinate with the Deep Space Network to transfer our downlink path from a 34 meter diameter antenna (DSS-24) to the Goldstone complex’s 70 meter dish (DSS-14).  The 70 meter antenna enables LCROSS to return science data at 1 megabit per second (1 Mbps).
  • 8:30 UTC/01:30 PDT: Impact Command Approval Meeting (CAM).  Shift B will review the final Impact plan and the associated onboard command sequences and ground commanding products.  This is our last chance to get things right.  Since the team is focused on a very specific set of checks, and for lack of time, this CAM lasts only 30 minutes.  Then Shift B goes back to the MOCR to perform Impact.
  • 9:00 UTC/02:00 PDT: Loading Impact command sequence to LCROSS. Shift B loads the final command products to the Shepherding Spacecraft, including a set of contingency command sequences to cover off-nominal scenarios.  In the event of a building fire or an earthquake, our team even has a command sequence that would allow Shift B to leave the building and have the entire Impact sequence and observation be automated.  The Deep Space Network has dedicated four antennas to this period of time, three from the Goldstone complex in California, and a fourth located at Madrid in Spain.  Shift B, with the help of DSN operators at JPL, will coordinate those antennas as LCROSS changes its communications configuration.  Hours earlie
  • 10:00 UTC/03:00 PDT: Start of Impact onboard command sequence.  Its first commands will perform a reorientation of the Shepherding Spacecraft to point the science instruments towards the expected Centaur impact point on the moon.  The cameras and other instruments will not yet be on.  This reorientation will also point the –Z Medium Gain Antenna (MGA) towards the Earth, enabling the team to switch the LCROSS downlink path from the omni-directional antenna to this MGA, in preparation for high-rate science data transmission. 
  • 10:10 UTC/03:10 PDT: Switch to –Z MGA. Shift B will command the switch from omnidirectional to the –Z MGA antenna.  This is a potentially critical step in achieving full-rate science data transmission after the Centaur impact.  However, since we did our combined Cold-Side Bakeout #3/MGA Test on September 24, we’re pretty confident this will work again.
  • 10:15 UTC/3:15 PDT: Transitioning to Science Rate. The Flight Team will now command a transition from a standard downlink data rate of 64 kbps to our full science rate, 1 Mbps.  This is another very important step to achieving full science return.  However, we do have backup procedures that would allow us to transmit science data at a lower rate, 256 kbps, if the DSN 70-meter dish were to fail, or if the MGA was non-functional.
  • 10:36 UTC/3:36 PDT: Payload powers on. The onboard Impact command sequence powers on and enables the DHU and science instruments.  At 10:41 UTC, the command sequence also starts DHU NVM sequence 1, a sequence of instrument commands that tests each instrument in the LCROSS  payload, save the Total Luminescence Photometer (TLP).  The MOCR at NASA Ames begins to receive data from the science instruments, and the Payload Team and Science Team begins analyzing the preliminary data to make sure everything is working.  This is still nearly one hour from Impact, but it’s the team’s last chance to find a problem in our suite of payload instruments that might otherwise foil our Impact observation.  The team continues checking the instruments, and via the Flight Controller and Flight Director, commanding small adjustments to exposure settings, for 35-40 minutes.
  • 11:10 UTC/4:10 PDT: TLP Instrument powers on. The Total Luminescence Photometer (TLP) instrument powers on for the first time since before launch.  This instrument is very sensitive, and can only be powered on a limited number of times.  The Science Team has been very careful not to overuse the instrument in tests.  However, if the instrument powers on as expected, this is a major success on the road to the Impact event.  The TLP, which gathers light measurements at 1000 times per second, will “catch” the Impact flash as the Centaur hits the moon, and is hence a very important instrument for water detection.
  • 11:30:20 UTC/4:30:20 PDT: Flash Mode begins. One minute prior to Centaur impact, the DHU will command NVM command sequence 2, which begins Flash Mode.  For the next 1 minute 3 seconds, Flash Mode will run the TLP and other instruments to capture the flash of light coming from the impact event. 
  • 11:31:20 UTC/4:31:20 PDT: Centaur Impact. Centaur impacts the moon at Cabeus.  The energy of impact emits a brief, intense flash of light.  A plume of lunar debris will rise in a pattern similar in shape to an inverted conical lampshade.
  • 11:31:23 UTC/4:31:23 PDT: Curtain Mode begins. The DHU will switch from Flash Mode to Curtain Mode, which is a sampling sequence optimized to observe the evolution of the debris plume as it rises from the lunar surface.  With this debris rising above the altitude of the Shepherding Spacecraft, our side-looking spectrometer will look towards the sun to measure light as it is transmitted through the debris.  The remainder of the payload will be pointed down towards the impact point. This mode lasts for 3 minutes.
  • 11:34:23 UTC/4:34:23 PDT: Crater Mode begins. At this late stage, the DHU will now switch from Curtain Mode to Crater Mode, which is designed to capture data about the properties of the new crater generated by the Centaur impact.  The Shepherding Spacecraft now has less than one minute of time to capture and transmit data before it also hits the moon.  With the Centaur impact point now off to the side, LCROSS will continue to try and track that point until its own contact with the moon.
  • 11:35:39 UTC/4:35:39 PDT: Shepherding Spacecraft impact. The Shepherding Spacecraft will also hit the moon at roughly this time.  The Flight Team will abruptly stop receiving telemetry a few seconds later, as the photons from LCROSS’s last transmission travel back to Earth to be received by the DSN 70 meter antenna.  The LCROSS flight mission will be over.

This will be my last post until after Impact.  I hope you enjoy the show tomorrow – it should be very exciting.  Though we won’t have immediate feedback for water detection, I hope to report good news to you on Friday regarding the accuracy of our impact, and the collection of the science data.  Then, over the coming weeks after Impact, the Science Team will review their data and interpret the observations. I’m sure you’ll be hearing news one way or the other.

Thanks for reading!

53 thoughts on “Brace for Impact! A Schedule of Events for the Final Day”

  1. Excited with bittersweet aftermath. I sure hope this all goes exactally as planned. I will be watching. I have been following probes since Pioneer. God speed LCROSS!

  2. Hi Paul, I have a rather long winded question. I have been paying more attention to the moon orbit, in relation to the earth. My understanding (from listening to many scientists)is the moon is moving away from the earth at a very slow rate yearly causing changes in weather, tidal patterns, and the angle of the earth’s axis. My question is: what effect does the striking of or landing objects on the moon have on it’s earth orbit? Do these events, compounded from the sixties, have the effect of a minute nudge that will over time, cause the moon orbit to expand in distance at a quicker rate? Examples would be the forces of moon landings and launches. What about the added weight of our space junk and meteor strikes? It seems that small changes in distance (centimeters) may be a cause of changes in our planets natural behavior. I also wonder about the effect of growing populations and their locations along with the removal and relocation of minerals (of all types), as far as the effect their weight has on the planets angle of axis and it’s rotation. Just curious! I appreciate your help with these questions! Thank you, Jeffery Ward


    We have been looking for the Animation that has been shown on this mornings News but have been unable to find it…

    We also posted it on our blog to give our Readers a heads up so they would NOT MISS THIS EVENT!

    God Bless Your Mission!

    He always does!


  4. This is disgusting. I believe that there are a million things we can be researching to assist humans right here on Earth, as opposed to blowing a hole into an entity that directly affects life as we know it here on EARTH!

    Does anyone know the true state of the moon? Humans act first then think. Cause and Effect people… how will this change the gravitational pull? The tides?

    I don’t know if there is a collective consciousness or a moral committee anywhere in any of your dealings BUT this is definitely NOT OKAY. Did ANYONE stand up and say “this isn’t a good idea!”

    No, we may not feel the changes directly or right away… just like a ripple in a pond, it causes waves and can affect change.

    **God Bless Us – I don’t think that you realize what you are really doing**

  5. Very Great effort. My Best wishes for you and your team. Well we are going to create some Sunami on the Moon? Moon control our sea now we impact moon it’s really exciting to know. GOOD LUCK ONCE AGAIN

  6. I am not a scientist, but I certainly cannot understand why no one in the scientific community would question the logic behind setting off blasts on our moon which regulates our tides and is intensely tied to our weather, etc. Does no one think this could potentially set off catastrophic changes in the moon’s orbit that would impact Earth? I hear there were several earthquakes and tsumanis reported following these blasts. Please stop this. It is crazy to do this just to look for water as the potential hazards to humankind are far greater in my estimation.

  7. Greatly appreciate the detailed time-line. Gives a sense of the excitement of being there. Good luck and good hunting!

  8. We are crazy!

    Hope everything goes well.

    “Hey Poor beautiful-moon, hope it’s not gonna hurt you too much! & you will still shine” 😉

  9. Hello

    Excuse my ignorance but how can you define south pole?
    The moon has no wobble or spin as do all the others, one of the poles may well be actually facing us. No?

    Not sure if i will get my answer before impact or after, I understand how you are busy …

    Good Luck!

    Mohamed from Algeria

  10. I’m actually sitting on console now, so don’t have much time. I’d like to try and briefly answer some of your questions:

    1. For those of you concerned about our impact’s effect on Earth’s tides, not to worry. Even though this impact is “big” on the human scale, it’s truly negligible on the lunar scale. Mathematically, our Centaur impact will affect the moon’s trajectory around the Earth, but imperceptibly so. Our impact will have absolutely no measurable effect on the moon’s orbit, or on Earth’s tides. LCROSS’s momentum is simply too small, compared to the moon’s, do cause a measurable change.

    2. As for the definition of the south pole, actually the moon does spin about an axis. Imagine this: as the moon orbits the Earth, the same side faces us all the time. Over a full orbit, to keep the same side facing the Earth, it has to rotate once. The axis about which it spins defines the poles in the same way the Earth’s spin axis does.

    3. As for those of you that prefer GMT for reference times, I apologize for not explaining. “UTC”, or Universal Coordinated Time is actually equivalent (for all practical purposes) to GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), so please treat those “UTC” times as GMT.

    Here’s the latest information from the mission. Shift A has successfully loaded all of our command sequences for our rotation to Separation attitude, as well as those for Separation, Centaur Observation, and Braking Burn. We’re just 1 hour from rotating to the Separation attitude.

    Our public affairs office tells us that the main NASA site will be broadcasting our Separation animation live, as it is happening:

    Check it out! OK, gotta get back to work…enjoy.

    -Paul (LCROSS Flight Director)

  11. i think some people are crazy why blow a hole in the moon its just silly, so much could go wrong!!!!!!!!!1

  12. NASA….WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!!! What gives NASA the right to do anything to our moon?!!! If you want to bomb a moon then by all means find one that won’t directly affect OUR OWN PLANET!!! This is sickening!! I can’t believe that in our economic state, NASA feels it is necessary to spend countless millions to damage our moon?! NASA is supposed to be an organization full of some of the smartest individuals in the country….so I ask, why don’t they have common sense??? What happens if the bomb changes our moon in some way which in turn causes catastrophic problems FOR OUR OWN PLANET???!!!!!!! I can only hope that NASA will wise up. Why do we continue to fork over billions of dollars to NASA when there are so many people in this world who are suffering because they do not have money for things we take for granted…like FOOD, CLOTHING, MEDICINE, LIFE SAVING SURGERY? NASA PLEASE DON’T WASTE USEFUL MONEY ON ANYMORE NONSENSE!!!

    Why do we insist on screwing up our world?

  13. This absolutly scares me to death. The moon is made up of collected particals of debris from when a mars like rock hit earth in it’s early stages. Whats to say its not fragle yes stepping on the surface or landing with L.E.M.s isnt going to affect it but how can you honestly confirm that it wont break a chunk off and send it hurling towards earth. You could at least tell us that its not going to happen. My god havent you ever read H.G. Wells “The Time Machine”?
    Oh and one more thing a while back I had a nightmare that a Huge chink of the moon came sailing right into the planet. Now im wondering if its not a preminition. Im not religious I belive in science this just seems like a bad idea who cares if theres water on the moon. Can we drink it? No. We should be figuring out a way to get off this dieing rock we call Earth.

  14. Good luck tomorrow i hope everything goes acording to plan.
    And once again thaks for posting what goes on on MOCR.
    GOOD LUCK!!!!!

  15. I know that a lot of Money has been spent for this. But at the current state of our economy in our country do you think that the Law maker’s in Washington would be at least Think about what bill’s to pass to help us here and not spend $79 millon dollars to blow a hole in the moon to see if there is water!!!!

    Now I know that these People that are in office are out to spend our tax dollar’s on Stupid things instead of helping the people who put them in office.

    NASA Shame on you for doing this!

  16. wow, i am amazed by the detail and transparency of this blog!
    thanks for sharing such up to the minute information.

    for the people who have been commenting with fears of tidal and weather effects: please consider – this mission is just knocking a bit of dust out of a crater. now think of the natural impact that MADE that crater in the first place. now think of how many craters you can see on the moon. if the moon’s orbit (and the earth’s environment) survived all that, this comparably tiny dent is really nothing to be worried about. the moon experiences natural meteor strikes all the time on a much larger scale with no ill effects. this mission just makes a very small one at a predictable time so they can look at it.

    it is not violent or dangerous, it is fascinating!

  17. NASAs rendering of the impact shown in visible light and the positioning of the video module in relation to the impact was a blatently and deceptively misleading live event. An embarassment for NASA truely, as the comentators on the NASA live feed seemed shocked and at a loss for words when during the entire process, nothing was visible in either one of two live video types they showed. One in visible light, which was very far away from the main impact payload, so far away, there was no way to see with the 1995 digicam quality feed NASA had going on, and one Infrared, which didn’t so much as flicker with heat at the so called impact point. The most dramatic event was the video module slamming into a sudden white screen.

    Right as this event was happening, which by the way was extrememly boring, and embarassing to watch a NASA team member who supposedly was involved in the projects process, fumble over every word as he repeated statements when he was reading from a script on a sheet of paper, like a 12 year old who won an intern opportunity for the day to pretend to work for NASA, constantly and fixated on reading from a file even the most basic explainations, a woman comes on audio and requests a change of some device. She refers to an “N”. Flight director, very slow speaking gentleman considering an event is happening at such a quick speed, confirms her request, and slowly approves the order to someone else, who then takes forever to respond, at which point she quickly corrects him and says, “N” like November!!

    What a bunch of baffoons.

  18. NASAs rendering of the impact shown in visible light and the positioning of the video module in relation to the impact was a blatently and deceptively misleading live event. An embarassment for NASA truely, as the comentators on the NASA live feed seemed shocked and at a loss for words when during the entire process, nothing was visible in either one of two live video types they showed. One in visible light, which was very far away from the main impact payload, so far away, there was no way to see with the 1995 digicam quality feed NASA had going on, and one Infrared, which didn’t so much as flicker with heat at the so called impact point. The most dramatic event was the video module slamming into a sudden white screen.

    Right as this event was happening, which by the way was extrememly boring, and embarassing to watch a NASA team member who supposedly was involved in the projects process, fumble over every word as he repeated statements when he was reading from a script on a sheet of paper, like a 12 year old who won an intern opportunity for the day to pretend to work for NASA, constantly and fixated on reading from a file even the most basic explainations, a woman comes on audio and requests a change of some device. She refers to an “N”. Flight director, very slow speaking gentleman considering an event is happening at such a quick speed, confirms her request, and slowly approves the order to someone else, who then takes forever to respond, at which point she quickly corrects him and says, “N” like November!!

  19. It will be interesting in the following days to see how many of these comments get “pruned” due to national security, or some other ambiguous reason. I for one am a fan of the old transparent NASA, the ones who stood up in congressional hearings and sweated & cajoled, (and, sometimes, grovelled & explained all the possible results) for the cash for their projects.

    No offense meant to the honest scientists, but when this was first planned, was there a recession squeezing 98% of the taxpayers who are funding this research? What use is a possible water supply on the moon, if we don;t have the money to buy eventual pup tents on the moon colony? A strong game plan includes adjusting to current situations; this shot smacks of “well we lost 1/2 the fuel, but it’s in the air, let’s see if we can hit the moon, at least” mentality.

    God bless us all, indeed.

  20. Its one great moment in the history,and for all of ones on the worlds.


    sorry for my dictionairi. I am from Belgium.

  21. What is the amount of force on the crater? I am sure this fact is somewhere in your documents, but for regular folks, in terms of a day to day life what is it equivalent to? Just curious! Thank you for leading us to better things in the future!

  22. Who are these people who think the world is ending because of this test? The moon has been impacted by much larger meteors with no effects.

    There are no hurricanes or earthquakes being caused by this test, the only effect is an increased knowledge of the moon.

  23. I got up early and was glued to my set and was utterly disappointed. Is anyone going to explain why the PR people got it so wrong? There was no discernable plume. I, thousands like me, the press, and countless school children saw nothing. I’ll take your word of it, but could someone please explain why we all saw nothing, or did the PR guy just get a little too carried away?

  24. Many congratulations of a succesfull mission! It is great to see moon missions (well, preparing for them in any event) to get picked up again. Hopefully the results will be positive 🙂

    Couple of questions, if anyone in your end (it must be hectic right now!) have the time:

    -when can we expect preliminary results of the data collected?
    -what are your plans for future missions, if there is reasonable amounts of water detected?
    -this might be a stupid question, but what all molecules and/or atoms could the devices on board of LCROSS identify? Or was the only thing observed the possible water molecules?

    P.S. I found the live feed from the impact to be extremely entertaining (I was glued on the set for an hour before hand, and dragged my spouse out the bed to watch it also). So there was not a big “bang” in the movie sense. From what I understood, a big explosion would’ve meant that Centaur hit rocky surface, which would’ve been bad… so no bang is good, correct?

    Other way round, how often does one get the chance to watch *live* collision of anything onto the moon? To know that something like that can be done, and to witness such an amazing feat of engineering and aspiration… Well. Kudos to all those involved on the project!

  25. Congratulations NASA! Another amazing example of what intelligence and technology can accomplish.

    I am really disturbed at how many clueless people have put comments on here. Please, people, before you start panicking and imagining all kinds of Hollywood Doomsday fantasies, put your brain in gear and do a little research. Just a few examples:

    1. The impact of this object is extremely tiny compared to the size of the Moon. As already stated, it will have no effect at all on the the Moon or Earth, aside from an extremely tiny new crater. Imagine for a second that your head is the Moon. You would need a microscope to see this crater on your face.

    2. Even though $79 million sounds like a lot of money to most of us, it is actually an extremely tiny amount of money, relative to the amounts that are commonly used for many of our government programs that provide so many benefits for us here in the US.

    3. Someone stated that they thought this was a useless mission. Not true. If water is found on the Moon, it will provide an extremely important resource for future moon exploration, providing water for drinking and for growing plants, oxygen for breathing, and hydrogen for fuel. And that will drive the development of private companies to much more quickly launch their own missions to build moon bases and colonies. The development of moon colonies would provide so many benefits to humans, I’m not even going to try to list them.

  26. good job people,

    NASA-s work has inspired many to take up the science and help build the better place for all of us..

    greetings from Bosnia and Herzegovina

  27. Hi I think this is great and Im proud of NASA for taking the next step into space travel and Im also glad we didnt blow up the moon so this was a over all huge sucess.

    Thank You,

    Lea Charlton

  28. NASA you guys have the best jobs ever you get to blow stuff up and spend a ton of money to do it. I feel that this was a huge waste of money but at the same time a huge sucess for the future so for that Im happy good job.

    Thank You,

    Coby Hunt

  29. Hi everyone Great job NASA this was a huge sucess for one small 7mill and one gaint boom for moon kind.

    qoute by

    Coby Hunt

  30. My thoughts on the impact,
    LCROSS was a man made unit, at the speed it made impact it would have simply collapsed and turned into a pancake, also at such a low speed, little disturbance would have occured, meteors have been sited hitting the lunar surface at speeds estimated at over 30,000 mph and have created little disturbance, I think if a spike probe where to be made at sent with an explosive big enough to create a plume of dust, there would be a better result, but the trick would be to send an explosive that created little heat.

  31. Just because NASA says there might be water on the moon let’s bomb it, we all are supposed to cheer? I think NASA has unintentionally revealed how ridiculous and wasteful directives have become. I’d pull the plug on the whole program just for this one act alone. Even if no harm was done and space monkeys do find H2o, it was an entertainingly stupid idea. Sorry to burst your delusional bubble but we are not at a shortage of water here on earth, in fact there is more than enough H2o, even for you pinky. I know you are scared to die of thirst, but ticking the Moon’s ass with that measly missile is not going to quench your thirst.

  32. how long will it be before we will be able to see all the data from shepards last 1 minute transmission.

  33. great show.looks like nasa is back.been a huge fan since the early mercuy missions.understand you need help keeping an eye on the sky.have telescope how can i help?

  34. Hi, noting that there was little to no disturbance of the surface with the impact, and we also note that we have observed meteor impacts at a much great speed.
    I believe that LCROSS actually did the pancake on impact which is why there was no plume of dust created, even with the meteor impacts at an estimated 30,000 mph created little disturbance, what if a spike probe were sent with an explosive device, one that creatyed little to no heat, I think then we would see a plume of dust.

  35. Amazing!! Congratulations.
    Watched the footage over NASA TV. sadly my connection went down five minutes before imapct so I missed those last few minutes.

    The media seem obsessed with the ‘lack’ of a plume and are running it, in the UK, as a ‘dissapontment’ – just because they didn’t have a pretty picture.

    Congratulations to all who worked and are working on the mission. Now the interesting time starts – analysing the reams of data.

    Well done to you all!

  36. Hello Paul

    Congrat to all the team!

    interrested about you mission i am sorry because my question may be late 🙂

    Why you went to South Pole when North Pole had more hydrogen?


    Mohamed from Algeria

  37. This was a cheap B movie production that the US people paid millions to watch a picture and a camera zooming in on that picture. Then an intern doing a voice over almost echoing command control. The NASA guys got it completely wrong about the “splash”. Could this be a classic look here and see nothing and something was happening elsewhere, a magician trick.
    I enjoyed watch the Tech room Technicians trying to look pleased and failing,High 5 ing fresh air. In facted one guy packed his laptop away and left the room within 2 minutes. At least he got paid to watch such a disappointed display. Maybe he went home to look for another job?

  38. Paul,
    Why was the Live coverage so bad? No big explosion and stream of dust. Was there enough for any analysis to make the project a success?
    Was the impact in the correct place?
    Where is the coverage from Hubble, ISS or earth bound telescopes?
    The team did not seem to pleased at result, also there have been many comments about the live coverage being a photo and a camera zooming in closer to it.
    From Germany

  39. Why do NASA images suck so badly? As a photographer it’s extremely confusing to me. Google earth, which has very low capabilities compared with the state of the art, can do better than most of what we get from NASA – especially on the Moon. This particular instance dealt with a dark area of the lunar surface but in many cases all we can see is blurry low res images of the lunar surface, even in places where the conditions for shooting are ideal.

    If you put any Nikon or Canon pro camera and lens on that probe and set it to shoot at 1/3 sec. intervals you could have gotten better images, no?

    It really is embarrassing for the US and NASA and feeds the conspiracy theory mill.

Comments are closed.