Thursday 9th October, 2009, 3.00am. In just 90 minutes time, NASA was to crash a lunar probe LCROSS into a permanently shadowed crater (Cabeous) at the Lunar South Pole. Actually the upper stage of a Centaur rocket would hit the moon first -
at 6km per second - followed 4 minutes later by the LCROSS probe itself. LCROSS was to fly through the plume sent up
by the first impact and measure hopefully, water vapour.
The impact time and site were carefully chosen to allow all the big scopes - The Keck - CFH - Palomar - Hale - etc, in the West of N.America to focus on The Moon with a barage of imagers, spectrum analysers and the like in the hope of securing both
scientific proof of water on The Moon and to provide a spectacle for the public.
The Result? Well the Jurry is still out on that one, but it was great to know that we were watching the Lunar South Pole
at the same time as most of the major observatories in Western N.America!