News: NASA might have a follow-up mission of LCROSS.
- Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) was a robotic spacecraft operated by NASA. It was launched in 2009 along with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).
- LCROSS had an attached Centaur booster rocket which into the crater Cabeus near the south pole of the Moon.
- Key achievement: Plume and the ejecta curtain created by the LCROSS Centaur impact LCROSS Centaur impact showed evidence of water.
About Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Mission:
- Launched in 2009, it is a NASA robotic spacecraft currently orbiting the Moon in an eccentric polar mapping orbit.
- The mission seeks to help identify sites close to potential resources with high scientific value, favourable terrain and the environment necessary for safe future robotic and human lunar missions.
- Key achievements of LRO:
- Made a 3-D map of the Moon’s surface at 100-meter resolution and 98.2% coverage
- In polar shadowed regions of moon, found the coldest spots measured (below 30 K) in the solar system.
- Discovered significant subsurface hydrogen deposits in regions cold enough for water ice to survive.
- First radar measurements of the lunar far side.
- Mapped in detail the temperatures, UV reflectance, and near-surface hydrogen abundance of the moon’s polar cold traps
- Created the first cosmic ray albedo proton map of the Moon
- Made high-resolution images of robotic and human exploration sites