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Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS)

Follow Media Telecon:
LCROSS and LRO Science Science Results of Lunar Impact
Date: Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010
Time: 11 a.m. PDT / 2 p.m. EDT

See press release on Results

December 15: Director's Blog: What Happened on Impact Night?
Posted by Paul Tompkins

November 13: There is definitely water on the Moon! Read more.
At a press conference today, researchers revealed preliminary data from NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, indicating that water exists in a permanently shadowed lunar crater. The discovery opens a new chapter in our understanding of the Moon. Read Science@NASA report. See Press Briefing on YouTube.
Tony Colarprete during press conference

October 29, 2009: Mission Update -- SETI Seminar Series, dated October 21
Special panel on LCROSS with Tony Colaprete, Jennifer Heldmann, Diane Wooden (all of NASA Ames Research Center)

October 27: Update and images of processed resuts!
Early processed results from the LCROSS shepherding spacecraft's instruments are summarized at and
The science team is now preparing to present more at the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) meeting to be held in Houston, TX, Nov 15-19, 2009 and submit results for peer review.

October 26: Successful Partnerships Enable a Successful LCROSS Mission
The success of the LCROSS mission is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the men and women of the LCROSS team. The team consists of a core group of scientists, engineers, managers and support personnel at NASA Ames Research Center, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, the Lunar Precursor Robotic Program (LPRP), Explorations Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) and national and international partners. Read more.

October 16: NASA'S LCROSS Captures All Phases of Centaur Impact
NASA’s Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) was a smashing success, returning tantalizing data about the Centaur impact before the spacecraft itself impacted the surface of the moon. Read more.

October 10: Diviner Observes LCROSS Impact
The LRO Diviner instrument obtained infrared observations of the LCROSS impact. LRO flew by the LCROSS Centaur impact site 90 seconds after impact at a distance of ~80 km. Read more.

October 9: NASA Spacecraft Impacts Lunar Crater in Search for Water Ice
NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, created twin impacts on the moon's surface early Friday in a search for water ice. Scientists will analyze data from the spacecraft's instruments to assess whether water ice is present. Read more.

October 8: Centaur Separation:
At 6:50 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8 the LCROSS shepherding spacecraft successfully separated from the Centaur that has been attached to since early June 2009, when the LCROSS and LRO were stacked at Space Launch Complex 41, a few days before launch from Cape Canaveral. Read more.

October 7: Adjusted impact time:
As a result of the TCM (Trajectory Correction Maneuver) that occurred yesterday.
--Centaur impact time:  11:31:19 UTC, 7:31:19 EDT, 4:31:19 PDT
--Shepherding spacecraft impact time:  11:35:45 UTC, 7:35:45 EDT, 4:35:45.
See the updated countdown clock at:

NASA Ames LCROSS Impact Party
If you are local to NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, you are invited to join us for part or all of our celebration on October 8, 7:00 pm to October 9, 7:00 am. For schedule, tickets and more information see:

Impact Night Viewing Sites
Find a public event, near you on LCROSS Impact Night (October 8-9).
Mapped sites to date.

October 8 and/or 9: Are you having an Impact Night event?
The tools @ can help you!
Please notify us @ if you are putting on an event so we can help disseminate the information to the public.

New Impact Page Available: to provide the casual backyard observer useful information for observing the LCROSS impact event, see:

Wednesday, October 7: Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii 7:00 pm
Free Talk -Back to the Moon- by Space Journalist, Author, and Historian Andy Chaikin will give a talk about going back to the Moon. See

October 4 - 6: Aerospace in Hawaii Week
For more information:

Friday, October 2: Griffiths Obseratory / All Space Considered 7:30-9:15 p.m.
Meet Andy Chaikin: Award-winning science journalist and space historian who has authored books and articles about space
exploration and astronomy for more than 25 years. Mr. Chaikin is best known as the author of A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts, widely regarded as the definitive account of the moon missions. Mr. Chaikin will be discussing LCROSS, including its crash to the lunar surface, scheduled for October 9th, 2009. See:

Wednesday, September 30: Frontiers of Flight Museum 7:00pm in the Hamilton Family Auditorium
The Frontiers of Flight Museum presents space journalist and author Andrew Chaikin speaking on the combined Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and Lunar CRater and Observation Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission. See and

NASA News Release: LCROSS Mission Changes Impact Crater
Monday, September 28, 2009 -- Based on new analysis of available lunar data, the LCROSS mission has shifted the target crater from Cabeus A to Cabeus (proper). Read more.

Sunday, September 27: The Exploratorium 2-4 pm PDT
Take a trip to our nearest neighbor in space with renowned science journalist and space historian Andrew Chaikin. Relive the achievements of Apollo lunar astronauts and learn about the ambitious LCROSS mission, which will send a rocket crashing into the moon’s permanently shadowed regions to kick up huge plumes of debris in the hopes of uncovering deposits of ice. In addition, Exploratorium educators will give an entertaining and interactive overview of moon science.

Saturday, September 26: Chabot Space & Science Center: 3:00-4:30 pm PDT
Author, speaker, and space journalist Andrew Chaikin joins Chabot visitors for a night of moon conversation and exploration. Using the detailed program Google Moon, which he helped to develop, Chaikin takes the visitor on a guided tour of the moon’s surface. Chaikin will also discuss the recent LCROSS mission and his extensive knowledge of the Apollo missions.

Wednesday, September 23: Jen Heldmann is giving a talk on the Moon & LCROSS on September 23 for the LPI MyMoon program:

Wednesday, September 23: Luna Philosophie Presents -- 6-8 pm PDT
Dr. Kim Ennico will speak on Hitch-hiking to the Moon: LCROSS (Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite) Model, a novel space mission and approach. See archive @

Date: September 22, 2009
New Update from Flight Director, Paul Tompkins! -- see:

Monday, September 21: NASA Headquarters: 10 am PDT
Tiffany Nail explains how to use Planetarium DVD

September 18, 2009:
NASA Invites Media to Ames for LCROSS Impact Events
NASA's LCROSS mission will culminate with two lunar impacts at approximately 4:30 a.m. PDT on Oct. 9. The mission will search for water ice in the Cabeus A crater near the moon's south pole. Reporters are invited to observe the event and participate in pre-impact and post-impact media briefings Oct. 9 at NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. The deadline for U.S. reporters to apply for accreditation is Monday, Oct. 5. International journalists planning to cover the LCROSS impacts from Ames must apply for accreditation no later than Friday, Sept. 25. Media representatives applying for credentials should submit requests to:

Are you having an Impact Night event October 8 and/or 9?
The tools @ can help you!
Please notify us @ if you are putting on an event so we can help disseminate the information to the public.
Additional Resources are available at:

If you are local to NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, you are invited to join us for part or all of our celebration on October 8, 7:00 pm to October 9, 7:00 am. For schedule, tickets and more information see:

Saturday, September 12 @ Millbrae,CA: AANC Annual Meeting (Registration Required)
Astronomer Brian Day will present an illustrated talk on the LCROSS mission and its goals. Observations of the Moon by amateur astronomers will help refine new protocols for observing the Moon and increase our knowledge of the Moon. During the months leading up to the LCROSS launch, amateur astronomers are encouraged to image the north and south poles of the moon in preparation of impact. Find out more at the LCROSS Google Group page.

September 11: Crater selection!
At this morning's press conference at NASA-Ames Research Center, the LCROSS team formally announced the impact crater on the moon: Cabeus-A. You can see all the details @ and

, we formally dedicated the LCROSS mission to the memory of Walter Cronkite, a longtime advocate and storyteller of the US space program. One of his more memorable moments was the Apollo-11 landing on the moon on July 20, 1969. He died 40 years and a day after the launch of Apollo-11 (July 17, 2009).

September 10: NEW!
Page to provide the casual backyard observer useful information for observing the LCROSS impact event

September 8, 2009:
Target crater selected for Lunar Impact of LCROSS Spacecraft

NASA has identified the spot where it will search for water on the moon. The selected crater is an optimal target for evaluating if water ice exists at the lunar south pole. Briefing participants are Daniel Andrews, LCROSS project manager, Anthony Colaprete, LCROSS principal investigator, and Jennifer Heldmann, lead for the LCROSS observation campaign. Following the news briefing Friday, more will be reported here.

September 8, 2009 @ 8pm EDT, Princeton Univ, NJ:
Ken Kremer will describe how NASA re-ignited the US 'Return to the Moon' in June 2009 with the launch of two new science spacecraft, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS). Dr. Kremer will take the audience for an up-close and personal tour of the robotic duo and takes us inside the "Clean Room" for the last look before blast-off with top NASA scientists and learn about the science goals. More details at:

August 24, 2009:
Spacecraft Anomaly

Upon starting an early morning communications pass on Aug. 22, 2009, the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission operations team discovered the spacecraft had experienced an anomaly. Two other press releases:

August 2009: Jen Heldmann gave a talk to the LPI Faculty group, which are community college and university faculty across the country. The video is now posted @
(or the direct link is here:

August 17, 2009:
In the early hours of Aug. 17, 2009, LCROSS caught a unique glimpse of the Earth and its moon from its unique vantage point in space
shot of earth and moon taken from lcross
August 1, 2009:
Video Mission Update: LCROSS Flight Team Lead Paul Tompkins
small photo of Paul Tompkins

August 1, 2009:
Observe the Moon Night
at NASA Ames, part of the International Year of Astronomy's nationwide Summer Star Party. More Details

July 27, 2009
Those of you local to NASA Ames Research Center in California have the opportunity of helping us to plan an event surrounding the LCROSS IMPACT. Give your opinion by responding to a brief survey.

July 2, 2009
For latest updates on LCROSS progress see:

June 25, 2009: Elk Grove Citizen Online: Teaching Rocket Science to Fourth Graders

On Monday, June 29, 05:23 UT
LCROSS captured by Paul Mortfield, Backyard Astronomer
Sierra Remote Observatories

Click on still image to see LCROSS animation of LCROSS in flight.

animate gif of LCROSS flyby June 29, 2009

On Tuesday, June 23,
LCROSS executed a swingby of the Moon.
LCROSS reached periselene, its closest approach, at 10:30:33 UT, with the spacecraft passing 1,988 miles (3200 km) from the Moon.

The flyby resulted in a gravity assist from the Moon which put LCROSS into its cruise Lunar Gravity Assist Lunar Return Orbit (LGALRO). The swingby also provided mission scientists with an opportunity for instrument calibration and the return of images from the far side of the Moon. See video and additional photos.

pictures transmitted by LCROSS during swingby

LCROSS and LRO launched on Thursday, June 18 @ 5:32pm Eastern Time. Projected Impact at the lunar South Pole: Oct 9, 11:30 UT (7:30 EDT, 4:30 PDT) -- See News Release.

Andy Chaikin on the Online NewsHour with Jim Lehrer entitled: NASA's Latest Lunar Mission
View in Flash or Download the slide show's audio in MP3 format

June 18, 2009
NASA Scientists Bring Light to Moon's Permanently Dark Craters

From NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA-- A new lunar topography map with the highest resolution of the moon's rugged south polar region provides new information on some of our natural satellite's darkest inhabitants -- permanently shadowed craters. Read More.

LCROSS and LRO now have a June 17, 2009 launch date. The four-day launch window leads to an impact at the lunar South Pole in the range of October 7-11, 2009. During the week of launch, there were LCROSS displays and talks continually available at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida.

Plan ahead: July 19, 2009
Join us at NASA Ames Research Center for MoonFest, an afternoon of family fun all about the Moon.
Sunday, July 19, 2009 @ 12 - 6 p.m. Hosted by LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation Sensing Satellite) and NASA Lunar Science Institute. More Details

June 17, 2009
Launch Event at NASA Ames Research Center at the Exploratilon Center to watch the launch on a big screen and ask questions about the LCROSS mission.

June 16, 2009
L-1 Webcast
Join us for a Launch Minus One (June 16) webcast where we’ll introduce you to some of these crucial participants and will provide you with information on how you too may become involved. Tuesday, June 16 @ 11:00 am EDT (8 am PDT, and 1500 GMT) Live from the Kennedy Space Center over the Internet.

June 13, 2009
In Florida for the launch? Join us on Saturday, June 13 @ 8:00 pm in the Brevard Community College, Astronomer and LCROSS E/PO Lead Brian Day will be presenting information for about the LCROSS mission at the Planetarium & Observatory.

June 12 through Launch
KSC Visitor Complex Offerings:

Public Talks @ KSC Visitor Center
L-4, 1:00 pm, Heldmann/Day ** STS-127 launch day **
L-3, 1:00 pm, Day/Heldmann
L-2, 2:00 pm, Colaprete/Heldmann
L-1, 12:00 pm, Andrews/Marmie
Staffed interactive LCROSS/LRO Exhibit, L-5 through L
IMAX Trailer featuring LCROSS, L-5 to L, plays before every show
ViewSpace Kiosk, L-5 to L

June 12
The LRO-LCROSS are stacked and encapsulated on top of the Atlas Booster. The mission has passed its Flight Readiness Review and is set for Launch on June 18. Take a look at images of what was happening at the cape in preparation for launch.

June 12, 2009
The Flight Readiness Review for LRO/LCROSS was held on June 10, and at its conclusion, there were no issues or concerns which would preclude a launch next week on June 17. On June 11, a mission dress rehearsal was conducted. This was a high-fidelity exercise for the launch team and affirmed their readiness for the countdown. Read More.

June 5, 2009

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, spacecraft are set to launch together to the moon aboard an Atlas V rocket on June 17. Three launch opportunities from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., are at 3:51 p.m., 4:01 p.m. and 4:11 p.m. EDT.
NASA Television's coverage of the launch will begin at 1 p.m. EDT.
If the launch is postponed 24 hours, the launch times on June 18 are 5:12 p.m., 5:22 p.m. and 5:32 p.m.

June 5, 2009

At Launch Complex 41 on June 1, the integrated systems test, an electrical test between the LRO/LCROSS spacecraft and the Atlas V launch vehicle, was completed successfully. On June 2, an integrated launch vehicle/spacecraft telemetry test was conducted successfully to verify that the LRO/LCROSS state of health parameters within this data stream can be fully monitored. On June 3, launch vehicle ordnance operations were performed. Read More.

June 2, 2009
LCROSS Lunar Impactor Mission
The LCROSS teams are continuing their prep work for next week's closeouts at the Pad on Tuesday. In the meantime, more readiness reviews await. Launch in 15 days (June 17).

June 1, 2009
LCROSS story airing this Mon morning, June 1, reairing at 8:33AM PDT on KQED 88.5 FM. Also streamed live & archived at

May 21, 2009
NASA Details Plans for Lunar Exploration Robotic Missions

On Thursday, the NASA outlined the upcoming missions of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS. The spacecraft will launch together June 17 aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Read more.

May 20, 2009
NASA Opens Media Accreditation for Moon Missions

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, missions to the moon are preparing for launch. The missions are targeted to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard an Atlas V rocket no earlier than June 17, 2009, at 6:51 p.m. PDT. Read more.

May 19, 2009
Take a look at images of what is happening at the cape in preparation for launch.

May 19, 2009
NASA Ames to Show Lunar Satellite Missions News Briefing

News media are invited to participate in a televised news briefing with panelists in Washington D.C. at 1 p.m. PDT on Thursday, May 21, about two upcoming lunar missions scheduled to launch in June that mark the beginning of a journey to better understand the moon. Read more.

May 15 - the combined LRO-LCROSS stack is being encapsulated in the payload fairing.

May 12 - LRO has been stacked onto LCROSS at Astrotech.

April 30, 2009
The Atlas V first stage and the Centaur upper stage have been stacked in the Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) at Launch Complex 41.

March 17, 2009
NASA Moon Mission Brings Divergent Passions Together

Growing up in the rural Appalachian foothills of the Ohio Valley, John Marmie developed a passion for music. When he combined that passion with his enthusiasm for space exploration, he was inspired to write an original song, 'Water on the Moon. Read more and listen to the song!

For more sources of news and up-to-date information see:

NASA Mission Page
LCROSS Facebook Pages:
LCROSS Twitter Page:
LCROSS Flight Director's Blog
LCROSS Overview Presentation by Anthony Colaprete, Principal Investigator (March 09)

For archives of previous posts

Visit the NASA Mission Site @

 FirstGov  NASA

Editor: Brian Day
NASA Official: Daniel Andrews
Last Updated: October 2010