Saturday, December 15, 2012

NASA To Crash 2 Probes into Moon To Determine Mechanical Properties..Really?

I find this "antic" by NASA perplexing to say the least. This is not the first time NASA has intentionally crashed vehicles into the moon. In the past they have done this saying  they were attempting to stir up space debris in hopes of finding ice. This time NASA is a bit more forthcoming, saying: 
"The violent demise of Ebb and Flow should provide mission scientists with some information about the mechanical properties of the crater rim, perhaps shedding further light on lunar composition."
"Mechanical properties of the craters rim", that sounds like the craters rim is some sort of man made mechanical structure. I don't want to sound like a conspiracy theorist but after reading 'Who Built the Moon' by Chistopher Knight  it makes you wonder if there is more to the moon than we know about. 

Also two Soviet scientists, Mikhail Vasin and Alexander Shcherbakov, who have spent much of their careers examining the facts compiled on lunar phenomena. Their conclusion is that the Moon is artificial, possibly a hollowed-out planet, and that it was steered from some distant region of the galaxy into a circular orbit around our planet (hence the extraordinary mystery of rock and Moon-dust age variations). They claim that intellectual life has existed in the Moon for eons.

Most people living on Earth are completely unaware that a solar day experienced on our Moon is 27.32 days. By sheer coincidence, that is also the exact period that it takes our Moon to rotate around the Earth. However, know that our Earth rotates once every  23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds.

Because of this, exact synchronization we only see one side of the Earth's Moon and never in history have we ever witnessed seeing the backside of the Moon from an Earth view perspective.

This causes a real dilemma, given current knowledge of physics it makes this dance between Earth and the Moon impossible!

There are simply too many legitimate questions and unusual circumstances regarding the moon to believe everything we have been told (or taught). 

NASA Plans To Crash 2 Probes into Moon

Two NASA moon probes will end their gravity-mapping mission in spectacular fashion Monday, crashing intentionally into a cliff near the lunar north pole.

The twin Grail spacecraft, known as Ebb and Flow, will slam into the raised rim of a moon crater at 5:28 p.m. EST (2258 GMT) Monday, mission team members said Thursday. The probes will impact about 20 seconds apart, with each traveling at 3,760 mph or so.

The crash zone is far from any area where previous moon missions — such as NASA's Apollo efforts — touched down, so Grail's final moments won't endanger sites of historical importance, officials said.

A successful mission comes to an end

The $496 million Grail mission — short for Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory — launched in September 2011, and Ebb and Flow arrived in lunar orbit about three months later. The two probes have been zipping around the moon ever since, mapping its gravity field in unprecedented detail.

"Grail has produced the highest-resolution, highest-quality gravity field for any planet in the solar system, including Earth," Grail principal investigator Maria Zuber, of MIT, told reporters today. [Video: Ebb and Flow's Impending Crash]

That map has revealed an incredibly pulverized lunar crust, she added, suggesting that the moon, Earth, Mars, Mercury and Venus were pounded by long-ago impacts far more violently than previously thought.

Grail's primary science mission ran from March to May, during which the spacecraft zipped around the moon at an average altitude of 34 miles. Ebb and Flow dropped down to about 14 miles for an extended phase, which wraps up in the next few days and should make the gravity map even better.

There will be no more extended missions, because Ebb and Flow are almost out of fuel. The spacecraft will crash into the lunar surface eventually, so the Grail team is bringing them down in a controlled fashion. (An uncontrolled crash would pose an eight-in-a-million risk of hitting a heritage site, researchers said.)

"This is all according to plan," Zuber said.

A little bit of science left

On Friday morning, mission managers will turn off Ebb and Flow's science instruments and order a maneuver that puts the probes on course for the rim of the crater, which sits at a latitude of 75.62 degrees north and a longitude of 26.63 degrees east.

On Monday, the low-flying spacecraft will hit the wall of rock head-on, at an angle of just 1 degree or so above the horizontal. The spacecraft will blast out small holes in the rim but leave little of themselves behind.

"They're going to be completely blown apart at the time," said Grail mission manager David Lehman of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

The violent demise of Ebb and Flow should provide mission scientists with some information about the mechanical properties of the crater rim, perhaps shedding further light on lunar composition.

It's also possible that the probes' impact will expel water ice or other volatiles into the wispy lunar atmosphere, where they can be detected by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Indeed, LRO has been studying the crash site and will attempt to do so again during and after the impact, researchers said.

But the Grail team doesn't necessarily expect to see ice. The crater rim is in sunlight much of the time, and the spacecraft just aren't big enough to kick up much ejecta.

And skywatchers shouldn't get their hopes up for a view of the impact from their backyards.

Ebb and Flow are "washer-and-dryer-size spacecraft with empty fuel tanks," Zuber said. "So we're not expecting a flash that is visible from Earth."

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