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The total cost of the mission is reported as US$583 million, of which $504 million pertains to the main LRO probe and $79 million to the LCROSS satellite.
Instruments on board LCROSS trained on the resulting immense debris plume detected water vapor and water ice, the mission's hoped-for quarry, while LRO, already in orbit around the moon, saw molecular hydrogen-a surprise.
In October 2009, LCROSS launched its Centaur upper stage at the permanently shadowed crater Cabeus near the Moon's South Pole.
The LCROSS impact created a crater about 25- 30 metres wide, and 4,000- 6,000 kg debris, dust, and vapour was blown out of the dark crater and into the sunlit field of view.
Members of the Green Watch at Tol lcross f i re stat ion in Edinburgh also held a memorial service for the 35-year-old.
But other compounds - such as hydrocarbons - are mixed up in lunar ice, according to new results from another Moon mission called LCROSS. The craters with ice range from 2km to 15km (one to nine miles) in diameter; how much there depends on its thickness in each crater.
Preliminary data from NASA's Lunar CRater Observing and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) indicates that the mission successfully uncovered water during the Oct.
A spacecraft that NASA deliberately crashed into a permanently shadowed crater at the moon's south pole as part of the LCROSS mission also dredged up a plume containing water vapor, proof that the crater housed a reservoir of water ice (SN Online: 11/13/09).
That's exactly what NASA did in October, when scientists steered a rocket and a small spacecraft, called LCROSS, right into a dark crater on the moon's surface.
The barely visible plume knocked into the air by Nasa's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite or LCROSS mission last month contained some water.
Anthony Colaprete, the principal scientist of LCROSS (the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite), said that the "eureka moment" came when the team saw a spectroscopic line indicating the presence of the OH water molecule, which could only exist if water was present in the crater.
Durham University's Dr Vincent Eke played a crucial role in Nasa's decision about where to crash the rocket - The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS).
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- LCRA-SAWS Water Project