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USA Back to the Moon 2009
November 2009 Update: NASA reports that water was found during the crash of the lunar orbiter into the moon. The water can be used for a new USA lunar habitat science-military-communications base, and to produce fuel for rocket ships.
The USA began heading back to the moon on June 18, 2009 at 5:32 PM ET when the liftoff of the dual LRO and LCROSS moon missions atop an Atlas V rocket from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida took place. The moon missions will scout for water sources on the moon, and landing sites for sending Americans back to the moon in 2020, to construct a permanent moon base.
The LRO hopes to learn more about the moon through a one-year stay at an orbit of about 31 miles -- the closest continual lunar orbit of any spacecraft. It will use lasers to map the lunar surface within inches. This mapping will give us our first look at the USA six Appollo landing sites, which ended in 1972. The moon land within the boundaries formed by these former landing sites is sovereign USA territory.
The LCROSS will remain attached to the Centaur until October, when NASA sends the Centaur smashing into a crater on the side of the moon that never gets sunshine. LCROSS will analyze the lunar material blasted out by the impact for any sign of water ice.
After examining the lunar matter, LCROSS will follow the rocket's lead by also hurling itself into the moon at a speed of 5,580 miles per hour. The two impacts will kick up some 500 metric tons of lunar material and begin the search for a long-frozen water source. The project will also examine the moon's mineral makeup.
If no water is found, NASA will immediately begin rocketing tanks of water, other supplies, and building materials to the picked moon base site. Temperatures on the moon can range from 250 degrees F to minus 300 degrees F. A special moon RV rover has been built and tested for use.
Funding for the USA moon base will come from the space station and space shuttle programs cancellation, Department of Defense reallocations, satellite program reallocations, regular NASA budget, Hubble telescope reallocations, import taxes, stimulus dollars, drug money, government pay cuts, and private donations.
The USA moon base will be used for scientific studies, communications, space explorations, military, and launch site for missions to Mars. Work of the projects will be extremely maximum security.
Check back for updates.
Charles Conrad, Jr. inspects USA Lunar Surveyor 3 (landed 1967) during Apollo12 (Nov. 1969)
$9 Million USA GM-Delco-Boeing Lunar Rover "Moon Buggy" of Apollo 15 parked on moon in 1971
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