ULA Launches LCROSS Satellite for NASA
[Satellite Today 06-22-09] United Launch Alliance (ULA) launched NASA‘s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) carrying the Lunar Crater Observing and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) aboard an Atlas 5 rocket at 5:32 p.m. EDT on June 18, NASA announced.
The $504 million mission will steer LCROSS on course toward a head-on collision with the bottom of a polar crater to assist NASA in its latest attempt for a lunar landing.
NASA will study the collision as it kicks material from the crater floor back into sunlight. Space-based telescopes, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and several other ground-base observatories will study the plume’s composition for signatures of water ice.