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NASA

To the Moon!
News story originally written on December 9, 1997

The first NASA lunar mission in 25 years will be launched on January 5, 1998. The spacecraft's name is the Prospector. While the Prospector orbits the Moon, it will make complete maps of the lunar surface. There is no landing involved in this mission!

The Lunar Prospector's mission will be an exciting one. Scientists are looking forward to having complete maps of the surface. They are also excited to find out if there is ice buried at the poles of the Moon. If there is, a lunar base located on the Moon will be much more feasible (water would be very hard/expensive to transport to the Moon!).

The Lunar Prospector's mission is expected to last one year. The craft is 4.5 feet high by 4 feet in diameter. It is shaped like a big drum!

Data from this mission will help scientists plan a potential lunar base and develop theories of the formation of the solar system.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF