NASA to deliberately crash probes into the moon

Dec 13, 2012
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NASA has announced that it's set to deliberately crash two "tiny" probes into the Moon's surface on Monday the 17th. These two particular probes named Ebb and Flow are small, and have been orbiting the moon for months while gathering data. Of course, small is relative: the probes are about the size of your dishwasher or washing machine.

Sadly for us, there won't be any pictures of the event, as Ebb and Flow will land on a mountain covered in a shadow at the time. Also, despite the fact that they are going to hit the Moon at about 3,760 miles per hour, there won't be any grand explosions. Likewise, the probes' crash landing will be controlled.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory project manager David Lehman offered this statement. "We're not expecting a big smash, a big explosion. Their fuel tank will be empty and they are the size of a washing machine." Meanwhile, MIT's Maria Zubar was quoted as saying, "I couldn't have imagined even in my dreams that the mission would be so successful."

The deliberate crashing of the probes is due to their low fuel levels, which have resulted in a decent too low to perform any additional missions. Still, though its their time to retire, Ebb and Flow achieved quite a few things, including nabbing the highest resolution gravity map that has been procured from a planet or moon. Their mission began on January 1st; Ebb and Flow are going down just a couple weeks before their first orbital anniversary.

[via AFP]


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