The Lunar Prospector will crash into the Moon on July 31, 1999. Scientists say they chose this date because funding for the project ends on August 1, 1999.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA
Lunar Prospector Will Crash Into the Moon!
News story originally written on July 26, 1999
Don't look at the moon on July 31! A horrible incident will occur! One of NASA's satellites will crash into the Moon! But Wait! Reports from NASA say that they want Lunar Prospector to collide with the Moon. But why?
According to scientists, this is the best way to discover water on Earth's only natural satellite. Lunar Prospector will zoom towards a giant crater near the southern pole, and will crash into it at a speed of 3,800 MPH. Scientists hope that seconds after the collision, a cloud of water vapor will surround the spacecraft.
Other scientists believe that if there is any water at all, it is locked up in mineral crystals. These crystals would have to be heated to very high temperatures before the water could be taken out. Scientists are hoping that water would be available for a future lunar base on the Moon.
Unfortunately, there will not be anything for you to see. The cloud will be too small to see from Earth without a powerful telescope.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
on science education, classroom activities in The Earth Scientist
specimens, and educational games
You might also be interested in:
It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more
The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on October 29th at 2:19 p.m. EST. The weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit. This was the United States' 123rd...more
A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more
Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials want an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting to be...more
A coronal mass ejection (CME) happened on the Sun early last month. The material that was thrown out from this explosion passed the ACE spacecraft. The SWICS instrument on ACE has produced a new and very...more
J.S. Maini of the Canadian Forest Service called forests the "heart and lungs of the world." This is because forests filter air and water pollution, absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen, and maintain...more
In late April through mid-May 2002, all five naked-eye planets are visible at the same time in the night sky! This is includes Mercury which is generally very hard to see. You won't want to miss this!...more