NASA Fires Lasers at the Moon to Track Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Sep 20, 2010
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Yesterday night was the "International Observe the Moon Night," and obviously one large government agency probably took that to heart. And if you can't have fireworks to celebrate a day where you're supposed to stare at your favorite moon, why not lasers? NASA took the time last night to locate and track the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is handled by lasers fired from Earth.

The lasers, which you can see in the image above, are fired from the Goddard Space Flight Center's Laser Ranging Facility, located in Greenbelt, Maryland. NASA fires the lasers every 28 seconds, which is all it takes to locate and track the satellite, which is the size of an SUV. Which is pretty impressive, considering that the LRO is moving at 3,600 MPH, and it's over 250,000 miles away. We're also curious to know if the scientists, while tracking our own satellite and staring at the moon, were talking like pirates to one another. After all, yesterday was also "Talk Like a Pirate Day."

[via io9]


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