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LRO/LCROSS launched

19 Jun 2009, 00:33 UTC
LRO/LCROSS launched
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The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) have been successfully launched and are on their way to the Moon. Both will take four days to reach the Moon, after which the LRO will settle into a polar orbit and start taking detailed maps of the Moon over [...]

Unmated LRO/LCROSS at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) have been successfully launched and are on their way to the Moon. Both will take four days to reach the Moon, after which the LRO will settle into a polar orbit and start taking detailed maps of the Moon over a period of a year. More pretty pictures from the Moon!
However, LCROSS will not crash into the Moon after the four days: instead, it will use the Moon as a gravitational assist to enter a very large orbit around the Earth. This is so that the impact can occur at a high angle rather than the shallow angle that it would crash with if it were to impact the Moon directly. Of course, LCROSS won’t be crashing into the Moon by itself: ...

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