On Friday morning October 9 at 4:31:19 a.m. PDT, NASA plans to have two spacecraft crash into the lunar surface to dig up some moon dust and search for water.
As it races toward the moon, the Lunar CRater Observing and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) will launch the still-attached upper stage of the Atlas V Centaur rocket to strike the moon first and create a plume of debris that LCROSS will analyze for about four minutes before it gets cratered and creates its own plume. The greatest hope is that scientists will discover water as they search the debris from both impacts.
The crash is not expected to be seen from Earth by the naked eye or binoculars, but is expected to be visible with Earth- and space-based telescopes 10-to-12 inches and larger.
Here's a look at some of the key images via ZDNet's NASA ready to shoot the moon gallery:
The big plan:
The potential crater:
The landing spot:
See more images.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com