Live Video Feed from NASA’s LCROSS Satellite Orbiting the Moon
The LCROSS launch (LCROSS and LRO launched Thursday, June 18 @ 5:32pm Eastern Time.) went without a hitch, and now the satellite is orbiting the moon. The final objective of this mission is to crash a rocket into the surface of the moon which will raise a debris cloud intended to be studied by a satellite trailing four minutes behind. (Projected Impact at the lunar South Pole: Oct 9, 11:30 UT, 7:30 EDT, 4:30 PDT) For now, you can check out the live steaming video from orbit, along with the telemetry animation.
There is no doubt that this represents a new generation of space exploration which is now accessible to the public in a very intimate way. I can’t wait for the Mars webcam or the live satellite feed from any number of flying missions.
In the mean time, enjoy the live video from the moon.
Details about LCROSS from its website:
Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS)
The Mission Objectives of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) include confirming the presence or absence of water ice in a permanently shadowed crater at the Moon’s South Pole. The identification of water is very important to the future of human activities on the Moon. LCROSS will excavate the permanently dark floor of one of the Moon’s polar craters with two heavy impactors in 2009 to test the theory that ancient ice lies buried there. The impact will eject material from the crater’s surface to create a plume that specialized instruments will be able to analyze for the presence of water (ice and vapor), hydrocarbons and hydrated materials.
LCROSS will also provide technologies and modular, reconfigurable subsystems that can be used to support future mission architectures.
Ames Research Center (ARC) is managing the mission, conducting mission operations, and has developed the payload instruments, while Northrop Grumman designed and built the spacecraft for this innovative mission. Ames mission scientists will spearhead the data analysis. This is a fast-paced, low-cost, mission that will leverage some existing NASA systems, Northrop-Grumman spacecraft expertise, and Ames’ Lunar Prospector experience.