I’m not sure how this hasn’t garnered more attention from, well, everyone, but on October 9th, 2009, NASA sent a 79 million dollar satellite, (The Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS. Scientists and their terrible acronyms at work again) hurtling towards our moon’s south pole to intentionally smash it into the surface there, in what was calculated to be the most expensive crash since ‘Waterworld’.
The purpose of this mission? Aside from the fact that it’s really cool to say you’re going to intentionally make something worth 79 million dollars crash into the moon, NASA’s goal was to create a huge plume of moon dust that they could analyze with their fancy, expensive equipment. So after impact scientists were able to collect about four minutes worth of useful information about the moon, with the hope of collecting enough favorable information that they could one day create a lunar outpost. That’s right, some day we’ll be sending new adventurers to survive in the harsh lunar environment. Then, once we’ve taken over the moon, NASA hopes to establish the new Galactic Empire and rule every place that our hyperdrives can take us.
So for all of that money we spent, what did we learn about the moon? There is water on the moon. Enough water that scientists are very pleased about how much they’ve discovered. If the nerds are excited, so am I!
If you have some time you may want to check out how your tax dollars are being spent in our quest for galactic supremacy right here at NASA’s official website. Or, instead, you could watch this much more entertaining video about outer space below.
I now ask you, who doesn’t want to take over the moon after that?