By John Calloway, Contributor
It sounds like something straight out of a post apocalyptic space thriller: NASA bombing the moon. This is not science fiction but reality, and it is happening today.
Starting around 4:30 a.m. on Friday morning, NASA began a series of impacts on the moon to ultimately test for traces of water. The craft being used is called the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS.
While bombing may not be the most precise word choice — because the actual process involves no explosives of the literal sense, but rather a high impact of the probe and its engines onto craters of the moon as to stir up moon dust that the probe will collect samples of — the mission has no doubt scared some people.
Skeptics are concerned about the permanent effect the mission will have on the moon environment.
Daniel Andrews, LCROSS project manager, assured the media in a press conference on Thursday that the mission will not have any long term destructive effects on the moon and that the impact is minute in relation to the moon. It will simply to stir up enough “dust” to obtain quality samples.
This is truly history in the making because if there is frozen water on the moon (as we found to be the case with Mars) then that heightens the possibility that one day humans could possibly inhabit Earth’s little sister. It would also give more validity to the U.S. space program returning to the moon in the near future.
NASA is streaming the mission live on NASA.gov and NASATV, but if you do not have a chance to catch the mission it is sure to be archived on NASA’s website and other media suppliers online.