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October 1, 2009 Cindy Hess
(502) 852-1105
cindy.hess@louisville.edu

Planetarium at UofL to show satellite crash into moon

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium at the University of Louisville is offering the public a chance to see a satellite crash into the moon Oct. 9 as part of NASA’s quest to find water on the moon.

The free, public event starts at 7 a.m. (the crash is scheduled for 7:30 a.m.) and will feature a live broadcast of the collision, behind the scenes videos and a question and answer session with planetarium director Rachel Connolly. Light refreshments, including “moon rocks” (donut holes), will be served.

Those planning to attend the event should check to make sure details of the mission have not changed by visiting www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LCROSS/main/index.html or by calling the planetarium at 502-852-6664.

During the mission, NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) will separate from a Centaur rocket as it nears the lunar surface. Part of the satellite will smack into a crater near the moon’s south pole sending up a plume of moon dust. A few minutes later, the LCROSS unit will pass through the plume collecting data and transmitting it to earth before it crashes as well.

Earlier moon missions have suggested that water, perhaps left over from comets hitting the moon in the last three billion years, remains in the shaded craters of the lunar south pole.

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