Friday, June 19, 2009

LRO/LCROSS Liftoff


Thursday 3:00 PM at the Lunar and Planetary Institute was a lecture by Walter Kiefer on the Aristarchus region of the Moon. The Moon contains many "pyroclastic deposits," similiar to lava fields on our Big Island. Aristarchus is the largest pyroclastic deposit on the Moon, composed of many layers of solidified lava. Digging in these layers could give us a history of solar and supernova events. With abundant resources for fuel and oxygen, Aristarchus is a prime choice for future human landings.

After the lecture, televisions at LPI were tuned to NASA TV for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter LRO/LCROSS launch. After a slight delay for weather, the Atlas rocket lifted off at 4:12 PM Houston time. This mission is a needed precursor to those future human landings. Everyone at LPI in Houston has great hope that scientists will again walk on the Moon.

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