NASA rocket impacts moon

Friday, October 9, 2009

Washington - The United States Space Agency's (NASA) Centaur Rocket and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite impacted the moon twice in over four minutes on Friday in a search for hidden water ice.

Nasa had wanted to crash a rocket into a crater near the moon's south pole - in the hope of finding water.

NASA scientists said they wanted to "kick up the dust" of the lunar surface in order to analyse material blasted into the atmosphere. A debris plume of about 10km was expected to rise above the lunar surface.

An observation satellite was then to follow the two ton rocket down to the moon's surface where it was expected to sample the debris and do a quick analysis of the material.

Scientists hope to find out whether there is enough water or other minerals on the moon to sustain a small party of explorers.