In 1969, millions of people around the world gathered around their television sets to watch NASA make history by putting the first man on the moon. Now, forty years later, we will gather around the television set again to watch the beginning of NASA’s Return to the Moon.
On Oct. 9, 2009, at approximately 7:30 a.m. EDT, the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, along with the spent Centaur upper stage rocket will impact a permanently shadowed crater near the lunar south pole.
Following four minutes behind, LCROSS will fly through the debris plume created by the Centaur. LCROSS will collect and relay data back to LCROSS mission control at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California before impacting the surface and creating a second debris plume. The impacts will provide a wealth of data that will help scientists determine the contents of these permanently shadowed craters at the lunar poles.
Viewing parties are planned across the country to witness this historic event. To see a list of events taking place in your area, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LCROSS/impact/event_index.html
For those unable to attend an event in person, NASA TV will stream live video. The broadcast will be available online at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
For this historic day, NASA has created the LCROSS Impact Kit. This kit is full of videos and educational materials to inspire and engage your students in America’s return to the moon. The kit is available on the Web at http://lcross.arc.nasa.gov/impactkit/