Searching for Water, NASA Busts Out Moonraker Laser

And promptly crash into the moon. Seriously...


So, in the "moon bombing", a project launched by NASA which planned to investigate whether or not there was water beneath the moon's surface, the satellite and rocket necessary for the mission have crashed into the moon. This crash was intentional--thus people going around talking about "moon bombing." From CNN:

NASA televised live images of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, as it crashed into a crater near the moon's south pole.

NASA officials said it appeared to be a "successful impact."

Minutes before its impact, the satellite guided a rocket into the Cabeus crater in an effort to kick up enough dust to help the LCROSS find whether there is any water in the moon's soil.

The Centaur upper-stage rocket impacted the moon shortly after 7:30 a.m. ET, and the satellite followed it four minutes later.

The LCROSS carried spectrometers, near-infrared cameras, a visible camera and a visible radiometer to help NASA scientists analyze the plume of dust -- more than 250 metric tons' worth -- for water vapor.

The orbiting Hubble Space Telescope and NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter watched and photographed the impacts. Meanwhile, hundreds of telescopes on Earth focused on the moon, hoping to catch a glimpse of two plumes.

The Cabeus crater lies in permanent shadow, making observations inside the crater difficult.

NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, who watched the event at a public event at the Newseum in Washington, said there was a lot of interest in the NASA mission.

"We had families ... literally coming in off the street" to watch, she said on NASA TV.