Who watched the NASA “moon bombing” live? Who waited for the video? Many rose early to see the lunar crash of the LCROSS (Lunar CRater Observing and Sensing Satellite) Mission spacecraft(s), but far more no doubt either slept through or were on their way to work (or getting ready for the workday) and decided to wait for the video. But reports out of NASA and from places both professional and amateur were not glowing. In fact, the impact was barely noticeable — and not to the naked eye. The NASA moon bombing — as an event — simply bombed.
Thousands of people were up and watching the NASA “moon bombing” early Friday morning, eyes affixed to monitors, telescopes, televisions, and, in the case of spectators at mission control at Ames Research Center in California, a giant movie screen. After watching simulations of the LCROSS Mission, where the expected lunar crash (“NASA moon bombing”) was depicted as sending a massive plume of debris shooting away from the moon’s surface for as distant as six miles, the actual crash of the rocket stage and its trailing observer spacecraft was nothing short of anticlimactic. Those expecting a space pyrotechnics display from the NASA moon bombing saw only fuzzy images, blurs, or what might be considered as nothing of moment — a rather disappointing show compared to what they had expected.
But the people at NASA were pulling in data from their LCROSS spacecraft up until impact, which occurred at 7:35, just minutes after the center stage rocket crashed, so the scientists were relatively satisfied. Not as spectacular an event as they’d hoped for but there had been a constant data stream from instruments up until impact, so the mission itself had been a success. Whether or not the moon has hidden water reservoirs, the focus of the mission, was not immediately determinable.
The Los Angeles Times reported that NASA scientists announced a detectable plume — even if a bit anticlimactic — from the “moon bombing” experiment. NASA officials say that it may be as long as a week before they can say definitively if there is water on the moon, but they have plenty of data with which to work.
So what went wrong?
According to NASA, nothing went wrong. The “moon bombing,” nothing ever more than a glorified crash of a stage rocket weighing 2.2 tons into the moon’s surface at such a velocity (twice the speed of a bullet) as to produce a 1.5 ton TNT blast, was to produce a plume of debris. And it did. It just wasn’t the spectacular show that had been anticipated.
But what about that video — or those hundreds of videos — people were expecting to see?
The NASA moon bombing video, such that it is, isn’t exciting footage. In fact, there was nothing that took place that was visible to the naked eye. It was as if the Centaur rocket and its trailing observation craft (which were never visible) disappeared into the crater at the moon’s southern pole and seemingly disappeared, just as if it had been swallowed by moon dust or cheese.
Which only means that conspiracy theorists are going to travel further into the lunatic fringe. They will offer up theories of extraterrestrials intercepting the LCROSS, impending galactic war, establishing U. S. sovereignty, government weapons testing that went awry and they (NASA, the U. S. government, the men in black) were only showing what they wanted to show (hiding the “truth”), more NASA trickery and fakery. But videos and pictures and government generated or sanctioned articles are always suspect to the conspiracy theorists, who are probably just now exhaling. No way did a conspiracy theorist worth their particular derangement miss the LCROSS live feed from NASA…
But the results of the LCROSS impact were nothing but the results. That the results did not in any way measure up to calculations and expectations are the product of faulty theorization and overactive imaginations. NASA scientists still received data from the recording instruments and have plenty to study. It is simply unclear just what they have learned from the moon bombing — except that a 1.5 ton TNT equivalent impact on the moon’s surface does not produce a spectacular reaction plume — but since finding water on the moon was the end objective to begin with, scientists are now concentrated on that aspect of the mission.
But it would have been nice to have a video with a long debris trail jettisoning up from the moon’s surface. At least there would have been something to talk about…
Instead, all there was at 7:35 a.m. EST were scientists still attempting to find evidence of water (ice) on the moon and a bunch of bleary-eyed onlookers (both professionals and amateurs) saying, “I stayed up (woke up early) for this?”
NASA’s live video of moon bombing via MSNBC.com.
The far more spectacular simulated NASA moon bombing video via Huffington Post.