Author(s): BrianJ

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The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) is a NASA space mission with the objective of determining the nature of hydrogen detected in the polar regions of the Moon and also looking for the presence of water in the form of ice. LCROSS was launched together with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter on June 18, 2009. LCROSS consisted of a probe and the Centaur stage. On October 9, 2009, Centaur split from LCROSS and collided with the Moon at Cabeus Crater, at the lunar south pole. The Centaur impact generated a plume that was studied by the LCROSS spacecraft before it also impacted the Moon. The mission was successful in confirming the existence of water ice in Cabeus crater.

LCROSS and the Centaur

Centaur impact seen through LCROSS

LCROSS before launch, in testing phase

The discrete point in the images is the plume generated by the Centaur impact, observed by LCROSS

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