LCROSS impact site picked

By Phil Plait | September 14, 2009 7:30 am


NASA has chosen the final destination for the LCROSS lunar impacting probe: the crater Cabeus A, near the Moon’s south pole.

So why is NASA smacking a probe into the Moon at high speed, and why there?

The idea is that over millions and billions of years, a lot of comets have hit the Moon. The water from these comets hits the surface and sublimates away… but if any settles at the bottoms of deep craters near the Moon’s poles, these permanently shadowed regions can act as a refrigerator, keeping the water from disappearing. It can stay there, locked up as ice, for a long, long time. Some estimates indicate there could be billions of tons of ice near the Moon’s south pole.

Detecting that water is tough. Radar results have been inconclusive, with some people saying there’s lots of water, and others saying there’s none at all. By impacting a probe there, any ice located at the impact site will be shot up above the lunar surface, where sunlight will break it up into H+ and OH molecules, which can be detected. Thus, LCROSS. I have a more detailed description of all this in an earlier blog post about LCROSS.

The choice of Cabeus A for the impact site is a good one. It’s near the south pole, it’s a likely spot for there to be ice under the surface, it’s on the near side of the Moon, so people back here on Earth can observe it, but close enough to the limb that any ejected water can be seen. Here’s a map of the area:

LCROSS impact site map

Click to embiggen.

LCROSS is planned to impact the crater at 11:30 GMT on October 9, which is early morning for the U.S. (in fact, there will be two impacts; one from the spacecraft and another by the Centaur booster) The plume from the impact should stretch up many kilometers. It will almost certainly be too thin to be seen by amateur instruments, but the impact itself should make a bright enough flash to be seen if you have a telescope. The crater itself will be in shadow, making the light flash easier to spot. It’ll only last a second or two, so if you want to observe it, be prepared! NASA has a nice webpage with all the info you need to watch this historic event for yourself. I hope everyone gets a chance to see this!


Comments (391)

  1. RL

    What if the impact ejects all of the ice they’re looking for? Would make for a good Twilight Zone ending.

  2. “Did these scientists talk to the moon? Tell her what they were doing? Ask her permission? Show her respect?”

    Hehe. Had to throw that one out there.


  3. Adrian Coles

    But isn’t the moon made of cheese? (Sorry. Bad I know. Couldn’t resist!)

  4. Greg,

    The Moon said that, as long as they check it out with her HMO to make sure it’s covered, she’s fine with it.

  5. T.E.L.

    If what gets detected isn’t just plain water, but instead fire water, then we’ll know where moonshine comes from at long last.

  6. T.E.L.

    The Moon obviously has a severe case of acne. Crashing into the crater will be essentially the popping of a behemoth zit.

  7. Ian

    So NASA are bombing the moon now – has the search for Bin Laden become that desperate?

  8. Lawrence

    If ice is discovered, it should be a boon for future lunar exploration and colonization.

  9. Durand

    I’m not entirely sure but shouldn’t the ice (water ice?) be split into H+ and OH-? If not, is there an article about why this happens?

  10. Wallace and Gromit are looking on in anticipation of a cracking good impact.

  11. T.E.L.

    Lawrence Said:

    “If ice is discovered, it should be a boon for future lunar exploration and colonization.”

    Maybe, It depends on if it can be mined and purified more cheaply than just lifting water from Earth.

  12. @ T.E.L – Comment 5 made me chuckle. Comment 6 made me groan.

  13. Very cool.

    Quick off topic comment BA. Norman Bourlaug died on Saturday. Good write up in the NY Times.

    You could do a write up on him. Greatest dude EVER. A scientist who saved the lives of millions (maybe even billions at this point). Win for science, win for us all. This guy got 1/100 the admiration that he should have gotten. I mean, it’s worthy of Bad Astronomy treatment for a number of reasons, but showing how science is vitally important to us all is one big one.

  14. T.E.L.

    Papa Surf,

    It made me groan, too. But had to say it, because acne is a major cause of facial scarring amongst teenage planets.

  15. “‘Did these scientists talk to the moon? Tell her what they were doing? Ask her permission? Show her respect?’ Hehe. Had to throw that one out there.”

    I see your New Age astrologer and raise you a crank from the same publication warning that the LCROSS experiment will start a war with the aliens on the dark side of the Moon:

    Beat that.

  16. pontoppi

    Water vapor hit by ultraviolet photons split up as neutral H and an excited state of neutral OH. The OH then relaxes through the emission of an infrared photon through a process called ‘prompt emission’. The fact that the OH is a product of a destruction of water can be inferred because the apparent temperature of the infrared photons is ridiculously high (20,000 K or so). In comets this is particularly apparent because the gas itself is pretty cold – something like 50 K.

    This is physics that have been extensively studied for comets. I couldn’t find any publicly available papers, but if you google ‘OH prompt emission’, you’ll find the right stuff.

    In any case, I don’t know if this is the process targeted by the LCROSS impact. Perhaps someone else has more info on that.

  17. Flying sardines

    @ 3. Adrian Coles Says:

    But isn’t the moon made of cheese? (Sorry. Bad I know. Couldn’t resist!)

    You can’t resist eating bad cheese? 😉

    Actually the Moon is made out of *green* cheese which would be mouldy so yeah, bad’s not too far off the mark – although its all a matter of taste.

    Now that explains why there’s no ice. I mean, come on, ice on cheese? Yuk! 😉

    And why the LCROSS probe is carrying crackers and, er, sardines to be the food of the next Moon walkers. 😉

    @ 5. T.E.L. Says:

    If what gets detected isn’t just plain water, but instead fire water, then we’ll know where moonshine comes from at long last.

    LOL! 😀 That wins the thread so far.

    I gues it will be “fired water” – water fired up and out by the impact so that’s kinda close..

    It also raises the question is moonshine actually distilled on the Moon (esp. the bit away from the illuminated crescent at early waxing Moon) going to be called earthshine?

    More seriously, best wishes to the LCROSS team – here’s hoping all goes to plan & we get some awesome results & good science from it.

    Also lets hope “the stars” tell that woo-full astrologer that today (or LCROSS impact day & after) is her day to just shut the bleep up. 😉

  18. !AstralProjectile

    Good catch Durand-I thought “…O+ and OH- …” looked fishy.
    Thanx for the explanation pontoppi.

  19. StevoR

    @ 13. Cheyenne Says:

    Quick off topic comment BA. Norman Bourlaug died on Saturday. Good write up in the NY Times.

    You could do a write up on him. Greatest dude EVER. A scientist who saved the lives of millions (maybe even billions at this point). Win for science, win for us all. This guy got 1/100 the admiration that he should have gotten. I mean, it’s worthy of Bad Astronomy treatment for a number of reasons, but showing how science is vitally important to us all is one big one.

    Afraid I don’t know who he is, the name doesn’t ring any bells and a quick Wikipedia check just now failed to find anything under either Norman Bourlaug or just Bourlaug. I cut’n’pasted his name from your post, Cheyenne so its not my lousy typing. :-(

  20. 10. kuhnigget Says: “Wallace and Gromit are looking on in anticipation of a cracking good impact.”

    I dunno, lad. It’s like no cheese I’ve ever tasted.

    – Jack

  21. T.E.L.


    He means Norman Borlaug, the agronomist. Here’s Wikipedia:

  22. Dan

    “…but if any settles at the bottoms of deep craters near the Moon’s poles, these permanently shadowed regions can act as a refrigerator, keeping the water from disappearing. It can stay there, locked up as ice, for a long, long time…”

    How did they choose this crater? It seems to be the most shallow option in the area and lacking the “permanently shadowed regions” necessary.

    Also… Wouldn’t a comet hitting the moon be sort of a high-energy deal? Why wouldn’t the water have immediately boiled away?

    While we are at it… Ice sublimates away in my freezer in less then a month. Why wouldn’t it do the same on the moon?

  23. mike burkhart

    Ill just say one thing I hope it works better then the Ranger program were only 3 of the 9 probes were sucessful

  24. T.E.L.

    The Ranger program was a total disaster. I mean, even the ones that got all the way to the Moon crashed!!

  25. 13. Cheyenne Says:
    September 14th, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Quick off topic comment BA. Norman Bourlaug died on Saturday. Good write up in the NY Times.

    The Green Revolution was overrated, in my opinion. Getting millions of people hooked on industrial agriculture may have been a nice temporary solution to hunger in South Asia, but I fear the generational effects will leave the world far worse off in the long run.

    Still, he meant well. RIP, Norman.

  26. 15. pontoppi Says:
    September 14th, 2009 at 10:51 am

    This is physics that have been extensively studied for comets. I couldn’t find any publicly available papers, but if you google ‘OH prompt emission’, you’ll find the right stuff.

    Oh prompt emissions? Poor comets – I had no idea they had this kind of problem. Perhaps we can send up some sort of KY cream to prevent that from happening.

    Or maybe we can tell ’em to think about math problems or something when they start getting close to perihelion – that works sometimes.

    I’ve heard.

  27. Tommy Duchesne

    O+ and OH-? Did you mean H+ and OH- instead?

  28. Tommy Duchesne

    O+ and OH-? Did you mean H+ and OH- instead?

  29. Does anyone know if a 4″ telescope will be enough to see the flash? It may be worth getting up for that.

  30. @Ricochet
    I only wish I had 4″… um… yes… what I mean is I will be using my Galileoscope but I don’t expect to see anything. has some info including what follows:

    Q: Can I observe this event using binoculars?

    A: No. In general you’ll need at least 200x magnification, and maybe only possible with 300x & above. More importantly, you will need the greater light collecting capability of a large aperture optic. Even some of the larger binoculars (25x by 125mm) still won’t do the job. Zoom binoculars (such as 10x-40x by 80mm for example) at maximum zoom (2mm exit pupil in this example) are great for very bright terrestrial viewing of birds and hangliders during bright daylight viewing, but are not useful at that magnification for low light viewing which is required here.

    Q: I have an old 6-inch Newtonian with a reasonably good mirror. What are my chances?

    A: Not great.


    @ Ricochet,

    According to NASA’s LCROSS website, mission scientists estimate that the Centaur impact plume may be visible through amateur-class telescopes with apertures as small as 25 to 30 cm (10 to 12 inches).

    P.S. Like Shane said, your chances are “not great.”


    Hey, Phil… that Photodissociation of H2O, it should be: hv + H2O ⇒ H+ + OH

  33. Grendels Dad

    So Deep Impact smacked a comet to see what was there, now this.

    Who knew that the impulse I first had a child to ‘poke it and see what happens’ was such a valid methodology for scientific discovery?

  34. @shane:
    You wouldn’t want my 4″. It’s not very good. I was shocked I could actually see the rings of Saturn. Anyway, thanks for the info.

    Thank you to you too.

    EDIT: Maybe it’s just me, and I’m continuing to look, but I’m having a hard time determining what they are talking about on the website, the plume or the impact itself.

  35. StevoR

    @ 21. T.E.L. Says:

    StevoR, He means Norman Borlaug, the agronomist. Here’s Wikipedia: …

    Thanks for that. :-)

    Hmm … I wonder why I couldn’t find that Wikipage when I searched for it?
    (Aha: B-o-r & NOT B-o-u-r spelling. That explains it. )

    @ 25. toasterhead Says:

    The Green Revolution was overrated, in my opinion. Getting millions of people hooked on industrial agriculture may have been a nice temporary solution to hunger in South Asia, but I fear the generational effects will leave the world far worse off in the long run.
    Still, he meant well. RIP, Norman.

    I tend to agree with that. We’ve postponed Malthus’ predictions not beaten them I think. I vividly recall reading Paul Ehrlich’s book The Population Bomb and John Brunner’s novels (The Sheep Look Up & Stand on Zanzibar ) on the matter & being both convinced and scared.

    Ultimately, I think our best option is to curtail our population explosion before it does reach levels that are simply unsustainable whatever our technological tricks may be. The number of people on this planet *will* crash. It must. Its just a question of whether we choose to lower it by our own sensible and more humane measures or force natural methods of starvation, war and disease to do it for us. Sad but true fact.

    Now back on topic – Go LCROSS! Here’s hoping your end will be a nice dramatic BANG! and not a whimper! 😉

  36. Damon

    Hmmm, I wonder which archology/monument/anomaly NASA was scared enough by to whip up some half-baked science experiment just to drop a bomb and blow it up before we saw it.

    I like how everyone’s conveniently forgotten those old Lunar Orbiter images. Just sayin’.

  37. T.E.L.


    What exactly would be on the Orbiter pics? The LCROSS target is a permanently dark area.

  38. Hey Greg (2) – clearly this event is not allowed under the moons HOA rules. This could be a major court battle with the moon residents and NASA.

  39. rp

    we better hope luna has the democrats’ new health care plan….or we will all be paying more for this

  40. moon man

    Sooo… will this thing be shot into the Man in the Moon’s ear?

  41. Brett

    “Click to embiggen”? Someone’s a Simpsons fan.

  42. Adam

    Paragraph 5: Since when is O+ a molecule?

  43. Robert

    This would be perfect. Then we wouldn’t have to look to dangerous middle eastern countries for our ice and water.

  44. Alex

    What if its frozen methane?

  45. FoxMuldor

    Damn, thats near my neighborhood!!

  46. Man, there are a LOT of silly comments for such an important topic. What a bunch of lunatics …

  47. Vladimirnoff

    If I be the Man on the moon I be worried…..they aiming pretty low.

  48. Luke

    Didn’t the Indian space probe detect water two weeks ago? Isn’t this project a bit redundant?

  49. Jim R


  50. Scientists: Are you so sure that this isn’t a test of a scalar electromagnetic directed energy weapon to see just how much destruction can be wrought by the technologies that already have made nuclear weaponry passe? Has anyone asked the question as to whether the moon is the military’s new firing range, and whether these jolts could cause internal fissures that might actually affect the moon’s axial rotation and orbital orientation?

  51. Donald

    Why the wasting of money when the country is in a recession? Shut down all new NASA projects until the economy is fixed – except the space station and hubble stuff. Put the rest in moth balls for later! Why the hell do we care if there is water on the moon? Are the politicians going to move there? If so, go for it! Then we could just turn off the radio until they see it our way for a change!NASA money could be used to refund the social security funds they have robbed for coke and whores. Art is nice to look at but likely tastes nasty. Leave the moon and space alone! I prefer to not know if a star is crashing into the earth. I am not going to the moon.Fix the US first before fixing the universe! Hell, just fixing the accounting systems used by the government to show weekly totals will help by exposing the skimmers who have invaded the government. Alien thieves and liars have been elected!Help!!!!

  52. Marcus Tullius

    I wonder what the unanticipated lessons/discoveries will be.

  53. Neil

    Where did the author come up with the word “embiggen”? Why use it? Isn’t “Click to enlarge” satisfactory? “Click to embiggen”. Huh?

  54. John

    Professing themselves wise,they become fools…Romans1:22
    Evolution is the biggest hoax since cap and trade…

  55. gxb

    Perhaps it is just me, but it doesn’t seem like a good idea to be bombing the moon.

    We are willing to destroy the economy of the USA to save us from an unproven “global warming” crisis, yet we are willing to attack the moon which has been shown to directly affect the climate of the Earth.

  56. JI

    Um….I’m surprised no one mentioned this but, under the image of the lunar south pole it says “click to embiggen”. Is embiggen even a word? I cannot find the word in a Merriam-Webster dictionary, an American Heritage Collegiate Dictionary, or an Oxford English Dictionary. Shouldn’t the word be “click to enlarge”? Is there a place that I can look to find a formal definition of “embiggen”?

  57. Chris Rogers

    If they are going to bomb the moon, why not dust off a couple of nukes for the job? Better yet, let’s launch a few dozen and spell something cool like “USA” or “God Bless America.” Something to think about for the next 4th of July, no?

  58. Johnny D

    Obviously, the writer of thise article is a Simpson’s fan! “Click to Embiggen” is what is written underneath the diagram of the craters!! Love it!!

  59. Sam Houston

    Maybe NASA will find Obama’s birth certificate in the core sample…?
    Rumor has it that obama hid his African birth certificate there.


  60. R.M.

    I’ve been waiting for this for 30 years:

    Surf’s up, Dudes!

  61. umm… just hypothetical but what if we knocked the moon off it’s gravitational axis by doing things like this? It doesn’t have an atmosphere like our planet and might be relatively unstable. Considering noone has REALLY landed on the moon and all yet. Just saying…

  62. Dave

    The article reads that the “…sunlight will break [water] up into O+ and OH- molecules…”. Unless my highschool chemistry fails me, this should be “…sunlight will break [water] up into H+ and OH- [ions]…”

  63. Nick Willis

    So water existing on the moon is pretty much essential if we’re ever gonna have a moon base. Not only because we need to drink it, but because if we have water, we have rocket fuel. Set up solar panels to run a current through the lunar water to split the hydrogen and oxygen and we have rocket fuel. And we even get to breathe, check that out. I would think this would also bring down the cost of launching satellites and what-not since we’d be launching them from a low-gravity (lower anyway) environment, and they’d already be travelling at orbital speed before they’re even launched. So in a nutshell, water on the moon a real good thing for the future of space flight.

  64. How many millions are we spending looking for water wil can never drink?

  65. How many millions are we spending looking for water can never drink?

  66. Can’t drill for oil here but we can look for water there (which we have plenty of). So, NASA / Government, what’s the real reason you want to discover water on the moon / other plants? I think the real reason is, you want to be able to find life on other planets to try and debunk scripture.

  67. nasa_genius

    Ohmygosh! you’re right! We got the chemical equation wrong and our experiment will fail. Wow, all that money spent – maybe we can recall the rocket – is it too late?

  68. Dusty

    It seems any water in that crater will be polluted with rocket fuel and other junk after the probes and spent booster hits it. So it will probably be useless for drinking. On the other hand, this might kick up a deep geyser that sends the moon flying off, or even better, splitting in two and crashing into Earth, wiping out the middle east. That will teach those moon rock worshipers a thing or two.

  69. Craig Stairs

    Well hopefully if there is other life out there another planet will opt to fire some bombs at us.

    I do not understand where the jurisdiction comes from to leave our planet (which is in dire straits) in the name of science.

    Im sure some good has come of us being out there romaing around and collecting things but now we’re dropping bombs?

    Can’t they just drill holes to get what they want?

    I sure hope this backfires.

  70. James

    Amazing how far they will go to ensure there’s available ice for the astronauts beverages… such pampering.

  71. Manny

    This is not right, we have millions and millions of people without health care,
    that’s where we should be spendng the money, plus the moon doesn’t have
    any oil, so there is no justification to bomb it.

    I thought Bush was the last president bombing other places.

    People! Where is Cindy, Murtha, Reed! We need you guys.

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist.


  72. Earthling

    Does anyone know…is this just a kinetic impact, or is there an explosive involved?

  73. BTT

    25: toasterhead Says:

    “The Green Revolution was overrated, in my opinion. Getting millions of people hooked on industrial agriculture may have been a nice temporary solution to hunger in South Asia, but I fear the generational effects will leave the world far worse off in the long run.”

    Yes, eating today is certainly a nice temporary solution to hunger everywhere.

    I’m sorry. You were trying to be funny here, right?

  74. Gee, I hope the Moon doesn’t shoot back.

  75. Crusty

    What if the plume from the impact reveals….Godzilla!

  76. RickBooker

    Click to embiggen? Has the new math been replaced by the new English?


    Greenpeace has called and asked for a halt on this bombing until an environmental “IMPACT” study can be made.

  78. They don't know what they're doing

    Really, they’ve known about water on the moon for years, have India announce it’s there finally, and know they’re going to send this thing at it.

  79. Whitelitning

    now we can take military action from outer space

  80. Gene

    I’m sure some militant, Taliban, terrorist, offshoot group will claim responsibility for the bombing. I mean, the terrain remotely looks like western Pakistan.

    Seriously, I’m just a bit surprised that this sort of project hadn’t been launched a long time ago. Water as a deffinite precursor to life has been the buzz-phrase for years.

    It just seems like this sudden interest was triggered by other countries’ projects into moon missions. India’s space program already considered it.,8599,1926393,00.html

    I believe politicians need to quit putting a stranglehold on NASA, and let our technicians and researchers do what they do best. Pioneering the future! Remember: It took NASA to put a man on the moon 40 years ago and launch a reusable shuttle (unfortunately stuck as a cargo carrier for the ISS). Russia’s still putzing around with space vehicles they designed 40 years ago. Their ‘reusable’ shuttle only flew once, and unmanned at that!

    Our space agency rocks! Let’s give them the tools to make it work. For us!

  81. Toni

    Ok why am I paying for this again? Please remind me… don’t we have enough water on Earth? Or is this a desperate attempt to confirm life on the moon? In other words we spend billions to satisfy an esoteric curiosity while living children (of whom we have confirmed evidence) starve and die and can’t go to school.


  82. RobL

    See, sanctions didn’t work on the Moon, either–bombs away!!

  83. And One More Thing!

    Oh, remember the EPA! I’m sure they’ll be chiming in any minute now to put a screeching halt to everything! There may be some minute living organism on that planet. And even in there’s just one on the entire planet, we can’t risk disrupting it’s life…

  84. anti

    NASA continues to spend and spend and spend (our $) in its attempt to disprove God !!!

  85. Jim S

    Will this cause the moon to be embiggened?

  86. Sam Deakins

    A daisycutter on the moon? Watch out jihadi moonmen. Where’s Rocky and Bullwinkle?

  87. Ryan

    Yes, there will be billions of tons of ice near the moon’s south pole, just like there was dust meters deep covering its surface.

  88. Mikey

    I hope the Man in th Moon does not get upset. I also hope that he does not get hurt by the impact. He has been a good neighbor for a very long time and has put up with us invading his home.

  89. Cyrus

    It’s George Bush’s idea, it’s all about the Oil………..

  90. AK

    By impacting a probe there, any ice located at the impact site will be shot up above the lunar surface, where sunlight will break it up into O+ and OH- molecules

    Chemistry FAIL.

  91. Rico S.

    The metal munching moon mice will not be pleased!

  92. bob

    great now im going to have to listen to how man created lunar warming starting october 10th

  93. Gentlemen, we have $3 billion to spend on Lunar research. We can either build a lander to plant flower seeds in lunar soil and see if the soil can support life if watered and provided CO2, or we can send a missile to blow a crater into the surface.

    All those in favor of flowers….just say aye…anyone…anyone at all…
    All those in favor of blowing stuff up…..

    Okay, lets build that missile!

  94. DavidH

    This text “O+ and OH- molecules” should have read “H+ and OH- ions”.

  95. Scott

    haha this is so funny. why are the looking for water on the moon??? wow, those fools that think you’re going to escape God’s wrath by going to the moon…that’s funny!!! bwahahahaha!!!

  96. 3dadnight

    Is greenpeace going to fly their spaceship and block the evil government from harming the environment of the moon. What if we cause climate change on the moon by taking such reckless action?

  97. Bravo

    “Detecting that water is tough. Radar results have been inconclusive, with some people saying there’s lots of water, and others saying there’s none at all.”

    Incorrect. Water has already been found on the moon by 3 separate craft, specifically India’s Chandrayaan-1.

  98. Adrian

    Ok, so lets say we find ice or some form of water, who cares, what’s that got to do with the price of rice in China????? Is this REALLY worth the month and all this effort? Don’t we have bigger fish to fry?

    Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm???

  99. Mike

    The moons made of cheese were just making it smokey cheese

  100. Titainiumman

    If ice isn’t found it’s probably George Bushes fault!

  101. JThuma

    So where on earth do you have water under the surface except for underground rivers, etc? But seriously you guys this is total lunacy!! No pun intended. You will find no water. It just ain’t happening!!

    What happened to truly brilliant people anymore!

  102. Rocco

    It’s all just an attempt to create a water trap for the next time we hit a golf ball there. Big cover-up.

  103. Kevin R.

    StevoR Says:

    How can someone so smart be so naive? We humans are nothing to this planet. Zero. Nada. Zilch. To conclude that our mere presence has anything to do with the way this planet operates is beyond arrogance on the part of man. I laugh out loud when I see “Save the Planet” anything. Its sheer nonsense. Save the planet? We can’t even take care of ourselves, we’re going to save the planet by “going green”? This is just stupidity at its highest level.

    Am I against nonsensical waste of resources? Yes. Do I think recycling is a good ideas? Yes BUT only for glass. Its the only recyclable that’s cheaper to recycle than to make again from scratch.

    Now to get to your solution to curb population. “…force natural methods of starvation, war and disease”. Wow. Where does one go with this? You advocate starving masses and instigating war and disease? Astounding. Who raised you – Stalin? Or are you a disciple of Obama’s Science Czar – John Holdren who advocates forced abortions, government confiscation of babies, targeted involuntary sterilization, mass involuntary sterilization, government dictating family size?

    or perhaps Economist Thomas Malthus who in “An Essay on the Principle of Population” wrote, “All the children who are born, beyond what would be required to keep up the population to a desired level, must necessarily perish, unless room be made for them by the death of grown persons…if we dread the too frequent visitation of the horrid form of famine, we should sedulously encourage the other forms of destruction, which we compel nature to use…and court the return of the plague.”

    Is this what YOU advocate?

  104. FRTimothious

    So many starving people in the world. So many droughts in the world. Why not spend all that money on finding a way to water the planet to help produce FOOD?

  105. susto

    what is the min. mirror size that can see the flash and plume

  106. Did the Moontians and NASA brass first meet without pre-conditions before discussing this act of extra-terrestrial bombing? Was the IN (Intergalactic Nations) summoned first? Were sanctions considered first? Be careful, because NASA’s popularity could crater if those goes awry. Heh, heh, heh…

  107. Edward

    Wait, if the Earth is our Mother, than what is the Moon? Our sister?

  108. paul

    Expensive way to get your ice.. wouldn’t it be cheaper just to walk to 7-11 for a bag? Good thing we’ve solved all the famine/drought/hunger/education problems on this planet so that we are now free to pour billlions of “excess” tax dollars into playing with a big rock. Good thing we don’t have a natuional debt or anything like that to be concerned about.

  109. A Patriot

    Hmmmmm, America sends a rocket back to the moon to bomb it….. IS THAT ALL WE KNOW HOW TO DO? Have we run out of places to bomb here already?

  110. TC

    They should nuke the moon just to be sure.

  111. Bill

    There’s already a movie about this, “Moonstruck”.

  112. paul

    sounds kind of like a “cold war” type demonstration. If we can hit a little hole on the moon from orbit just think what we could do to Iran. Star Wars is back on.

  113. mysterion

    pontoppi: How can you have “neutral” OH?

    O-2, H+1 = -1 What am I missing?

  114. Bill

    What if it ricochets and hits Uranus? Huh? Huh?

  115. SAM-TEXAS



  116. Bill

    Yet another meaning to, “Shoot The Moon”.

  117. Jack

    Will this not be considered an attack on our moon?

  118. Bill

    Wouldn’t it be a lot cheaper blast something into…oh say… France?

  119. brian

    What will the environmental impacts be? I’m really concerned here that we are playing God with the Moon’s fragile ecosystem and climate…

  120. D Lee

    Yesterday – a date which will live in infamy – the people of Earth were suddenly and deliberately attacked by armed forces of the Moon.
    The world was at peace with the Moon and, at the solicitation of leaders of the Moon, was still in conversation with the government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace throughout our planet.
    Indeed, one hour after Moon forces began attacking Earth, the Moon ambassador and his colleagues delivered to the United Nations a formal reply to a recent Earth message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.
    It will be recorded that the distance of the Earth from the Moon makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Moon government has deliberately sought to deceive the Earth by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.
    The attack yesterday on Earth has caused severe damage to Earth military forces. Very many Earth lives have been lost.
    Yesterday, the Moon government also launched an attack against Mercury.
    Last night, Moon forces attacked Venus.
    Last night, Moon forces attacked Mars.
    Last night, Moon forces attacked Jupiter.
    Last night, the Moon attacked Saturn.
    This morning, the Moon attacked Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
    The Moon has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the solar system. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves. The people of the Earth have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our planet.
    As commander in chief of the United States Armed Forces, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.
    Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us.
    No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated attack, the Earth people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.
    I believe I interpret the will of the United Nations and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.
    Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that that our people, our planet and our interests are in grave danger.
    With confidence in our armed forces – with the unbounding determination of our people – we will gain the inevitable triumph – so help us God.
    I ask that the United Nations declare that, since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by the Moon yesterday, a state of war has existed between the Earth and the Moon.

  121. “Click to embiggen” , is embiggen a word?

  122. Asian view

    India’s Chandrayan moon mission revealed this evidence, a watershed in all moon missions. If this basic substance of life is found on the moon, the possibility of base on the moon is feasable.

    But since unlike Earth the water on the moon is miniscule, future efforts should be aimed at conservation or even increasing the supply of water on the moon

  123. Montezuma Ron


    I want to share new information on the planned Cabal attack on the Star Visitors lunar settlement

    Since the time when loyal Good Guys/Gals within NASA redirected LCROSS and its Centaur rocket companion away from Cabeus A Crater, (after I relayed Star Nations’ message to the President), Star Nations has foreseen that the Cabal intend to manufacture new “evidence” over the next few days to cause LCROSS to be redirected back to Cabeus A Crater where the Star Visitors live.

    To remind: the Cabal operation involves crashing NASA’s LCROSS satellite and its accompanying Centaur rocket stage into the Moon’s surface within a shadowed lunar South Pole crater, Cabeus A, on October 9, 11:30 UT (07:30 am EDT, 04:30 am PDT) .

    See attached photos of Cabeus A Crater, and of LCROSS and its Centaur rocket. The Star Visitors colony is located in the upper northwest quadrant, up against the crater wall, in approximately the location which has the purple rectangle superimposed in the attached NASA photo.

    The Cabal within NASA know that there is a colony of Star Visitors living within Cabeus A Crater.

    In addition, the Cabal have secretly weaponized the insides of LCROSS/Centaur to make their impact more deadly (possibly with advanced high explosives).

    So, we will remain with our original plan to conduct the Joint Psychic Exercise October 8 with Star Nations; and, the object of the JPE will be to:

    1) both redirect LCROSS and its Centaur rocket away from the Moon AND

    2) then destroy both LCROSS and its Centaur to avoid their weaponized cargo from floating through space where it might eventually cause harm somewhere else.

    Since Star Nations is in accord with the dual objectives of such a Joint Psychic Exercise, we will proceed on October 8th as originally planned.

    The Cabal plan, to target and crash LCROSS onto the Star Persons colony is directed by Air Force Space Command (AFSC) Major General Wesley Clark, under the direction of General C. Robert (“Bob”) Kehler, Commander of the AFSC. Both Major Gen. Clark and General C. Robert Kehler operate from Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colorado, AFSC headquarters of the Cabal “Masters of Space”. (Sic) Some may wish to direct some psychic “attention” to these Cabal generals as well.

    The Cabal’s secret objective is to use the LCROSS and attached rocket stage to obliterate the Star Visitor settlement residing within that Crater. The LCROSS space probe will guide its empty 2-ton Centaur booster rocket toward its target. The rocket will crash into the Crater at 5,600 mph, creating a new crater approximately 5 miles wide. That impact would be so powerful that it would throw up matter skyward for a distance of anywhere from six miles to 30 miles high, according to NASA. After the Centaur rocket crashes onto the Star Visitor colony within Cabeus A, Crater, four minutes later LCROSS would also slam into the lunar colony in a one-two punch amplified by munitions secretly on board.

    The two-ton Centaur rocket qualifies as a space-based kinetic weapon, a crude Star Wars weapon. The use of space weapons is a violation of international law, the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions, and the UN Outer Space Treaty, to which the U.S. is a party.

    The Cabal is engaged in unlawful war crimes and attempting to position the United States, and by extension, all Earth nations, in an act of war against star civilizations. Since this is not a true act of the United States Government but a rogue act by Cabal infiltrators within NASA, then the official government of the United States, and by extension the United Nations, tacitly repudiate this planned action as unlawful, now that I have informed the U.S. Administration.

    Thus, when we and Star Nations takes action against this Cabal-controlled space probe attack, we do so with the tacit assent of the U.S. and the UN.

    And of course as Councillor of Earth I ratify Star Nations’ and our intervention to redirect and destroy LCROSS and its Centaur rocket as a lawful remedy against the Cabal planned attack.

    During the Joint Psychic Exercise our and Star Nations’ action will involve both redirecting LCROSS and its accompanying Centaur rocket-shell away from the Moon and then disintegrating them in space.

    For smooth collaboration, participants should psychically push LCROSS and its Centaur booster to the left of the Moon (from the perspective of looking at the Moon from Earth). And then after LCROSS and Centaur are moving left, off course from the Moon, direct psychic telekinetic force and/or energy to cause LCROSS and Centaur to disintegrate into harmless molecules.

    So, then, a week from now on Oct. 8, we will engage (along with Star Nations) in a Joint Psychic Exercise to divert the LCROSS space probe and accompanying Centaur rocket away from crashing into the Star Visitors lunar colony within Cabeus A Crater, and then utterly disintegrating them.

    Star Nations advises participants to use very strong shielding since the Cabal will be using its “super-psychic” magick practitioners to try to block our Joint Psychic Exercise from working. Strong shielding technique can be found at:

    Our Joint Psychic Exercise will take place simultaneously globally on October 8, (the day before supposed impact).

    The time for you to join together with us in this Joint Psychic Exercise on Thursday, October 8, is as follows:
    (Daylight Saving/Summer Time where applicable)
    Hawai’ian Islands: 5 am – Thursday
    Anchorage, Alaska: 7 am
    Los Angeles/San Francisco/Vancouver, BC (PDT): 8 am
    Denver/Calgary (MST): 9 am
    Chicago/Mexico City (CDT): 10 am
    New York/Washington, DC/San Juan, Puerto Rico/Bogotá, Columbia (EDT): 11 am
    Halifax, Nova Scotia/Caracas, Venezuela: 12:00 noon
    Sao Paulo, Brazil: 12 noon
    Universal Coordinated Time (UTC)/Greenwich Mean Time/Zulu: 15:00 hrs. / 3 p.m.,
    London/Dakar: 4 pm
    Paris/Algiers/Rome/Berlin: 5 pm
    Amman, Jordan/Capetown, SA: 6 pm
    Moscow/Riyadh: 7 pm
    Dubai: 7 pm
    New Delhi: 8:30 pm
    Beijing/Shanghai/Singapore/Manila: 11:00 pm,
    Tokyo/Seoul/Perth, AU: 12 midnight, Thursday-Friday
    Adelaide, AU: 12:30 am Friday
    Brisbane, AU: 1 am, Friday
    Canberra/Sydney, AU: 2 am Friday
    Auckland, NZ: 4 am Friday
    Kamchatka, Russia: 4 am Friday

    If you absolutely cannot make this time, join us as soon as you can, and back-time or forward-time (time-jump by intention) your effort to coincide with ours.

    Thank you.

    in the light,

    Richard Boylan, Ph.D.

  124. Arcy

    And just how much money is this nonsense going to cost the American tax-payer?!?!

    It’s past time that NASA’s black budget be done away with. For years NASA has hidden things from the American people and we’re tired of it. I want their bugets severely curtailed!

  125. Jon

    “34. Grendels Dad Says:
    September 14th, 2009 at 11:11 pm
    So Deep Impact smacked a comet to see what was there, now this.

    Who knew that the impulse I first had a child to ‘poke it and see what happens’ was such a valid methodology for scientific discovery?”

    Grendels Dad, that has to be the best thing written yet – I loved it!

    Anybody ever wonder why, if all these comets hit the moon over billions of years, why they only hit the near side of it? The far side of the moon is more naturally rough and has alot less volcanic activity, which scientists say were caused by the impacts. And for that matter, if that is what happened, and we (earth) are in-line with the near side of the moon (since it always faces us), why were we not bombarded worse, or at least as bad as the moon? I mean, if the comets came from space that created all those impacts, shouldn’t we have been hit first? For another matter, how did all those comets get all that water and ice? Studies show that besides earth, the comets, and the ice they believe is sitting at the poles of the moon, only trace amounts are found anywhere else in the solar system.
    Since we are “the water planet”, is it possible at all that the water/ice came from earth in the first place?

  126. So what happens if the impact moves the moon out of its orbit?

  127. cax

    Billions of dollars wasted on a worthless endevor while the world runs from the U.S. dollar because of our massive, growing debt; which will result in the Unites States becoming a third world country.

    “A fool spends what he does not have while the wise man invests for his family’s reward.”

  128. Colonial79

    Hmmm.. I thought green cheese was a renewable cheese.

  129. Mike Lord

    Click to embiggen?

  130. ali

    click to embiggen – LOLZ

  131. Tony

    I expect the Environmental Protection people to start screaming any minute now.

  132. Stacy

    This is purely about oil. Obviously. And it’s George W. Bush’s fault. Obviously.

  133. justchecking

    What if it has nothing to do with ‘discovering’ water on the moon? After all, we’ve known that for years. What if it’s a test to see if we can actually hit the moon from earth? If so, then by proxy, we can also hit any point on the earth from the moon. Thus, that may be the reason for the sudden interest of so many countries in the moon right now. Whoever occupies/controls the moon, also controls the earth which means that we might all be potential targets some day depending on whoever is in charge of any rockets placed on the moon. Moon occupancy does sound neat, but it can also have dire consequences. If only humans weren’t so power and control-hungry. *sigh* You KNOW that someone wants to occupy and claim it for themselves/their country. Watch.

  134. Ken

    I Can only imagine what the moon would say just before impact.

    Sun of B_ _ _ _ _!

  135. Aaron

    I wonder if the EPA made them do an environmental impact study before this???

  136. Orlando

    Does anyone know what Embiggen means?

  137. rogo

    the moon will crack in two

  138. ArrogantAss

    This is obviously a black op mission concocted by the “vast right wing conspiracy”, which is lead of course, by the Bush family and backed by the Builderberger and Rothschild banksters (who BTW have given up on their puppet, code named O-Ring).

    The mission is being carried out by staff from Halliburton and will insert missiles from Urnanus. The codename for this mission is “Brown Root”.

    Ok that is all. Carry on as instructed.


  139. Anobleone

    Why are we worried about weather there is or isn’t water on the moon???
    WE CAN’T USE IT!!!

    Let us first take care of our own planet, and make sure all is well HERE, before we waste our money on things that are useless to us right now.

    Realy! There are lots of people on this planet that are looking for water to drink, food to eat, and a good home to live in.
    But, we would rather be looking for water on the Moon?
    Greed, is the enemy of all nations and lifestyles.

  140. Joe

    South Pole?? OMG… it’s an Alien Anal probe

  141. Mike

    Lunar warming!!! Oh my!

  142. kueiyingwanglin

    They should have no right to do it at the cost of tax payers pocket.
    Unless all American tax payers got the same pay check amount that NASA highest rank got paid.

  143. Catherine

    The Moon says she is one of the zillions of uninsured in the galaxy. So, I think NASA needs to get her some health insurance with tax payer money.

  144. Ode to Triumph

    I wanna live on the moon.

  145. Nick called this years ago with a “Nuke the Moon” campaign. Well said, Frank J.!!!!

  146. Willie

    Wouldn’t all this money be better spent on a massive increase in social programs?

  147. newjerseybt

    This is the perfect time to spend money on this important moon project. The money could have used towards the 37 million uninsured. ;’) (wink)

  148. Scientist Steve

    Definitely the biggest hypothetical not explained by NASA is what will happen should this bomb knock the moon out of orbit? I would think that could put is into a new Dark Ages since the Sun uses the moon to reflect light towards us. Frankly I’m surprised that NASA would take such a large gamble for a few ice particles. I favor arming the moon as a defense mechanism from wayward comets and meteors, and so shooting things at the moon is a waste of money IMO.

  149. Jeff

    Too bad we can’t send rovers to the moon. It’s SOOOO much further away than Mars ya know, we have to smash things into it. Are you all really this stupid? India “finds” water on the moon? Water on the moon with no atmosphere? You all deserve to believe lies, morons.

  150. Mike

    It is Bush’s fault

  151. Tom

    Hope they don’t accidently hit the flag we planted there 40 years ago. That would suck!!

  152. little boy blue

    What would happen to the cow if he is jumping over the moon at the time ? P.E.T.A should be made aware of this right now!!!!! aaaahhhhhh sorry I thought I still lived in California.

  153. Bryan

    “embiggen”!?!?!?!? Who wrote this thing? It sounds like it was written for a kindergarten science class. “these permanently shadowed regions can act as a refrigerator”. Really!?!?!?

  154. larz blackman

    “Thus, LCROSS” — ??

    How about first telling us what LCROSS stands for?

  155. Randall

    Do we still have working seismic gear on the surface, I wonder? Will she ring?

  156. Al

    I hope there are no aliens down there that mistakingly think this is an attack. Further, and far more dire, will this add to global warming (doesn’t everyting?). Jeeeeeez

  157. Clearly, Phil Plait is a Simpsons fan! Nice use of the word, ’embiggen,’ Phil!


  158. Dennis

    Click to “embiggen”??? There’s no such word as “embiggen.” It was made up on a Simpsons episode.

  159. Jebediah Springfield

    Underneath the Moon photo/diagram it reads: “click to embiggen”.

    Is that an intentional or unintentional goof?

    Very funny either way.

  160. SAM-TEXAS



  161. Detter

    Maybe we will now get to know more about the full wheel moon effect, eh?

  162. David Greiman

    What recession?

  163. Awkins

    Is that where Osama been-hidin’ ?

  164. moon water

    Maybe the water on the moon is different than here on Earth. Instead of being H2O, it is O2H? I know a groaner and probably not what they meant but hey they are the scientists.

    Dan in #22, the reason ice sublimates away in your “frost free” freezer is that your freezer is placed under a partial vacuum, which combined with the relatively warm temps (25F or so) causes the ice to vaporize into a gas (steam) which is expelled from the freezer via the vacuum process. The ice on the moon, if it does exist, is under a vaccum (lack of atmosphere on the moon) but the temps would be so low that the ice may not vaporize. Would have to see what the estimated emps would be and look it up on a triple point chart.

  165. MSM Style Guide

    If it is a success, Obama deserves all the praise, if it is a failure, it was surely George Bush’s fault.

  166. ApolloVet

    First Iraq, then Afghanistan, and now the Moon? What di the Selenians do to us?

  167. Well, how do you do moon? We’re going to shove a probe up your back side. Is that ok? Well, if it’s not, too bad.

  168. Comic Book Guy

    A Noble Spirit embiggens the smallest man!

  169. Mike

    Did they get an environmental study to see what “Impact” the test would have on the moons environment. Where did they get their permits. Did they do a survey to see what effects would result from their tests. Will any moon creatures be harmed by the tests. Did Obama say it was OK? Did NASA get a note from their mother saying it was OK to impact the moon? Why didnt Congress have hearings before the site was selected. Where are the regulators? Who is protecting whom? There are alot of questions not answered here. Hee Hee

  170. Cookie Monster

    So what do you have to crash into to get OH Ar He OH?

  171. johnr

    great. we are testing for water by contaminating the limited reserves on the moon. what a humanistic approach. kind of like inventorying the contents of a china cabinet in the dark with a baseball bat. “Hey , that sounded like Wedgewood”

  172. Jimmy Mack

    I saw the result of this already when I was a child, it was a show called Space 1999

    But seriously, so we have any right to disturb alien environments? Should we be eyeing the water on the moon as another strip mining operation to provide fuel for space exploration?

    I’m usually very absolute on issues of human endeavor such as reaching for the stars and space exploration but I find myself not so sure on environmental issues even when the environment is extra-terrestrial, its almost like entering a strangers home and ripping up their carpeting. Maybe that’s just because we have done such a horrible job as stewards of our own home.

  173. Svetlova Horniac

    My own take on the matter is is that India’s recent lunar recon mission found something which might prove ’embarrassing’ to the US, and so now NASA is going to simply obliterate the entire area to protect themselves …

    I am basically reminded at this point of whomever it was who said, “A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.”

    Of course, whenever that happens I am also usually reminded of Alan Turing’s hypothetical last words — “This apple tastes a little funny … “

  174. standeman

    can’t to see a volcano of water explode out and start filling the step “oxygen”

  175. Jergen Ouft

    After attacking the moon, how can we expect Chicago to get the 2160 Olympics? The stars will align to vote against us. Peace President my arse!

  176. Why tap into the moon for water when the earth has 80% h20….

  177. Brendan

    Bombing the moon is a perfectly cromulent thing to do.

  178. David

    “NASA to bomb moon”
    Would you miss it?

  179. another theory

    What if the bomb punctures a hole in the moon and it deflates? It will shoot around in circles like a balloon. If it crashes into earth there is gonna be trouble.

  180. bitmap

    There is going to be a lot of heat generated when they hit the surface of the Moon. Centaur boosters are fueled by liquid Oxygen and liquid Hydrogen. Mixing Hydrogen and Oxygen and then burning the mixture creates water as a byproduct. If there is residue in the fuel tanks could that influence the observations?

  181. Allen

    Hope it misses the Quakers living there……hehe
    Just couldn’t resist this history, not much discussed but is truth? from J Smith.

    According to Oliver Huntington, Joseph said there were people living on the moon, and that Huntington himself would someday teach the gospel to them.

    “Nearly all the great discoveries of men in the last half century have, in one way or another, either directly or indirectly, contributed to prove Joseph Smith to be a Prophet.

    “As far back as 1837, I know that he said the moon was inhabited by men and women the same as this earth, and that they lived to a greater age than we do — that they live generally to near the age of 1000 years.

    “He described the men as averaging near six feet in height, and dressing quite uniformly in something near the Quaker style.

    “In my Patriarchal blessing, given by the father of Joseph the Prophet, in Kirtland, 1837, I was told that I should preach the gospel before I was 21 years of age; that I should preach the gospel to the inhabitants upon the islands of the sea, and to the inhabitants of the moon, even the planet you can now behold with your eyes.”

    (The Young Woman’s Journal, published by the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Associations of Zion, 1892, vol. 3, pp. 263-64)

    His last explanation:

    Another aspect of the matter needs to be considered. At the present time, man has no scientific or revealed knowledge of whether or not there are inhabitants on the earth’s moon. The fact that a handful of astronauts didn’t see any inhabitants in the tiny area they viewed when they landed on the moon decades ago certainly gives no definitive information, any more than visitors to earth who might land in barren Death Valley would have any idea of the billions of inhabitants elsewhere.
    No, I’m not making this up. He actually published that.

    The last thing to consider is that the alleged statement from Joseph Smith is consistent with the rest of Mormon theology. In the Pearl of Great Price we learn that God lives near a star named Kolob. The church is based on the idea that multiple worlds without number are inhabited.

    Anyway, Brigham Young agreed with Joseph and took it a step further… the sun is inhabited as well:
    “Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon?…when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the ignorant of their fellows. So it is in regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain.”

    (Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 271)

  182. JuanitoVerde

    Mebbe, just mebbe, they are searching for a place to dump all the bought-up clunkers we just paid for and destroyed?

  183. Mac

    So…if it’s cheese instead of water maybe the government can just distribute it and let those of us willing to work keep our money?

  184. NasaFan1

    Why didn’t Neil Armstrong look for water while he was there?
    This is a waste of tax payers money.

  185. conant

    “The moon is but a golden skull
    she mounts the heavens now
    and moonworms mighty moonworms
    are wreathed about her brow..”

  186. Chris

    Isn’t this how the movie Lunar Godzilla begins? Don’t wake it up!

  187. Angus macPherson

    That’s odd. According to NASAs Chronology of Events, Lunar Water Geysers lasting several hours which spread water vapor across the lunar surface have been reported. We even see official NASA photos of clouds in the lunar atmosphere, mist obscuring crators, etc. Why the sudden rush to find something they have already reported is there? Seems like a type of theater to confuse the issue of previous information slips..I mean, reports.

  188. Ed

    Hmm, ice cubes evaporate (sublime) in my deep freezer, under atmospheric pressure, and thats in the dark at only minus 20F not minus 270C. Also wouldnt most of the ice liquify from the impact only to evaporate? How much money is being spent on this (adjusting foil hat) boondoggle?

  189. Dee

    “If ice is discovered, it should be a boon for future lunar exploration and colonization.”
    Yes!!! We could colonize the Ice just like The Antarctic. That will be great. I’m so happy!

  190. ...bill

    When I was a kid in New England during emerging winter, we’d throw big rocks into freshly frozen ponds just to “see what would happen”. Usually, crack, splash, noise; big fun. I’m happy to see that NASA scientists have been able to realize their suppressed dreams of throwing a rock at the moon with some kind of scientific justification. I can’t wait until we find a valid scientific excuse to deploy TP there too.

  191. Bryan

    Um…they are simply destroying their hidden, secret lunar base before the Chinese and Russians come snooping around. It’s a good excuse though, finding water and ice, etc.

  192. Titus

    If they screw up the axis, then what, bomb it again??? Goodbye normal tides!!

  193. “Some estimates indicate there could be billions of tons of ice near the Moon’s south pole.”

    How much water is there on the, 50 percent constant darkness, dark side of the moon?

  194. 42jeff

    Oh come on…you guys know that this is all a hoax and will be computer simulated anyway so no contamination of the REAL moon will ever happen.

    At least until Mythbusters takes it up in a few weeks and proves it all wrong anyway….

  195. Fujikoma3x222

    Look, I like the space program a LOT. When I was growing up, my mom and stepdad both worked for aerospace contractors. I got to meet astronauts, it was a blast. I’ve actually done a little bit of reading on the things I am interested in… And I don’t like the idea of people tampering with as vital a resource as the moon much, like when people proposed stripping the moon of, I think it was a hydrogen isotope that collects naturally on the moon from solar wind, which might have them rip away a 3rd of the moon to process the rocks, for fusion reactions. Well, that’s great. See, the moon isn’t as big as the earth, but it’s gravitational field and orbit are just as important to life here as that of earth. Tides, seasons, a lot of things we take for granted are caused by that great ball of silver in the sky, these things have been CRUCIAL to the development of life on earth, and as such are very important to the biospheres that rely upon them. Lord knows what would happen were the moon to have a third stripped away from it, or its orbit altered by the impact of some probe, sending it spinning away, or perhaps worse, angling more inward than it previously had been. I just hope they’ve REALLY thought this out and run a lot of models, I’m pretty sure they have, but one never knows with people, even the smartest people can make some really boneheaded mistakes sometimes… On the plus side, such a mistake would likely shut people up about global warming for good. I’m just saying, the universe is your playground, just don’t start messing around with the moon unless EVERYTHING is carefully considered. Who knows what it would do to werewolves and vampires?

  196. Pavel314
  197. Moon guy

    Why do I care….enough to spend billions finding out…..why there is water on the moon?

  198. vivek

    The article says, “…Radar results have been inconclusive, with some people saying there’s lots of water, and others saying there’s none at all…”

    Maybe the writer is unaware of the latest findings by a lunar satellite, launched by the Indian Space Organization that has components from NASA. Results indicate water. Read for instance,,8599,1926393,00.html, which says,

    “…”Water ice on the moon has been something of a holy grail for lunar scientists for a very long time,” Jim Green, director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington said in a press release. “This surprising finding has come about through the ingenuity, perseverance and international cooperation between NASA and the India Space Research Organization.”…

  199. Snarky

    This must be an example of shovel ready jobs?

  200. RichD

    Firewater, moon made of cheese, and all other comments set aside, I found it curious that a Discovery Magazine site would put “Click to embiggen” under the map image. Embiggen???? Perhaps that’s what they’re really planning to do with the probe….”embiggen” the crater!!

  201. DC

    So, the impact to the lunar orbit will be affected .0000021389, nicely moving it awsy from the earth even faster, causing tides to change. And…we won’t be accidently cracking the moon into two pieces because of the fragile structure of it.

    Point being…we depend on the moon for tides and light, kinda something we aught not bomb.

  202. I’m so eager to read the LCROSS results. I just read Dr. Walt Brown (MIT Mechanical Engineering) origin of comets, and regardless of one’s theories on origins, he has a worthwhile concise comparison of the various formation theories and how they address a dozen observations about comets. Fascinating. -Bob Enyart, 20-year daily talk radio host, Denver, Colorado

  203. Buzz

    It will be many years before we can build a transport shielded enough to safely take humans to the moon. This is great for using fuel cells for robots though which can mine helium-3

  204. abbybwood

    I am totally opposed to this collossal waste of taxpayer dollars!

    What idiocy!

    Who gives a rats ass if there is water on the moon?

    The U.S. economy is near tanking with the value of the dollar declining, American citizens are dying by the HUNDREDS every day due to a lack of medical insurance and we deem it necessary to spend money we don’t really even HAVE for this absolute fiasco??!

    The Obama Administration is losing more and more credibility with each passing day.

    N.A.S.A. should be SCRAPPED….NOW!!!

    And for God’s sake, we depend on the moon for so much on Earth! Why mess with a good thing.


  205. Wesley

    Has anyone conducted an environmental impact study. :)

  206. While I agree with the search for the moon’s composition I wonder if our lack of information should also temper our wish to bomb the surface. All things are equal on the subatomic level. Where there is water there is life. Where there is no water there is life. So the logic is that if we bomb we can’t assume anything. It just seems that micro robotics could be used to explore like we are doing on Mars, at least before we bomb. Will any of the moon residue make its way to our planet eventually? I think it is a wonder but I also wonder. It should be interesting. It is interesting that this will be 119 instead of 911. No meaning I’m sure.

  207. Richard Whitney

    OH prompt emission? What?
    You will know that it hit ice if the mountains on the label turn blue. Duh!

  208. joebiden

    Obama is currently in talks with the U.N. for an approval to bomb the moon.

  209. jones

    “click to embiggen” – lol, somebody likes the Simpsons :)

  210. Mike

    The tiny Quakers who live on the moon according to the all knowing prophet of Mormonism, Joey Smith will be surprised when this hits. They might fire back at us. Has anyone asked the LDS church admins in Salt Lake city if it’s ok to shoot at the tiny Quakers?

  211. Edward

    We are 55 trillion dollars in debt, this is the best use of our tax dollars?
    What moron is calling the shots here? I’m sure this little project is costing 10’s of billions.

    Good call….idiots!!!

  212. Dan

    “Click to embiggen. ”

    ????? Who set up this website anyway? ?????

    Another US job lost to China.

  213. Me

    “Click to embiggen”? Someone’s been watching too much Simpsons.

  214. Gary

    Now we’re bombing the moon. Of course it’s Bush’s fault; at least that’s what the next liberal/progressive rant will be.

  215. Insider

    Why don’t they bomb Iran instead?

  216. Moon man said, “KKK, KKK, KKK, KKK.”

  217. Harry

    We all know the moon’s not made of cheese, but what if it were made of barbeque spare ribs? Would you eat it then?

  218. you guys sound like a bunch of lonely lossers that have no life

    and maybe some of u are gay and you all rape goats, all the woodland creatures

  219. Doug

    This will not be good for Moon Warming.

  220. TGC

    I want a BOMB THE MOON t-shirt!

  221. Luke

    Great, this is gonna backfire big time. Remember the recent “Time Machine” remake? No? Well, it was a forgettable flick, but anyway, they destroyed the moon or something, plunging earth into a new stone age. THIS IS IT FOLKS! WE’RE ALL DOOOOOMED! 😛

  222. bad analogy johnr

    Way off on the analogy johnr. Considering the size and scale, it would be more like hitting a china cabinet with a grain of salt.

  223. Mike UK

    What if the ejected water/steam propels the moon off into space like a deflating balloon? Not only that but what if there are Aliens there and they see this as an act of intergalactic war and strike back at say Washington DC on the 10th or 11th of October? Will it be blamed on Iran, Pakistan or Russia and the US launch WW3?

    May be prudent to stock up on survival supplies and/or vacate to the hills for the weekend, just in case.

  224. LEGION

    The target is not Cabeus A but Cabeus.


  225. Walter
  226. Art

    Jules Verne would be so proud.

  227. 69 Silly String

    They should rethink this VERY carefully.

    Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to see if there’s any water in Afghanistan?

  228. Lord Faron

    they are doing it as part of a cover up. water has been on the moon for a long time so have we, we have been mineing it for a about 40 years.
    The whole thing doesnt make sence now that China and India are going to out a man on the moon we have to cover up what we have been doing.

  229. student

    didn’t know “embiggen” was a word…

  230. Natla

    What is the rush? I’m sure in 50 years we will land on the moon and take the lastest Rover on a cruise all over the place. Whats the point in throwing stuff at it now? You see this kind of thing all the time from scientists that want an answer right now and can’t wait… The pyramids are a good example where scientists have ripped that place appart (not to mention the looters). I’m all about scientific exploration but lets not damage anything to get it (if possible). I’d like to find out if my 2008 chevy will make it to 200,000 miles and I will probably find out in 15 years or I could just drive around the country 100 times and in 6months I will have my answer and a beat up engine…

  231. joe johnsonstein

    Not one of you idjits seem concerned about the danger of even the slightest impact may cause the moon’s orbit to change. If that happens, our tides stop or change. How stupid. Kill the earth by tampering with the moon. Without the moon, the earth is just like the billions of other hunks of uninhabitable rock in the universe.

  232. Phil S L

    “click to embiggen” ?
    Doesn’t make me confident NASA knows what its doing, not for the first time, sadly.
    Otherwise here’s hoping it works, though it won’t encourage the congressional liberal luddites.
    Keep smiling, :-)

  233. What if the moon explodes into a million pieces and blocks out the sunlight to the earth and we all die? I’m scared.

  234. Danny

    One word–Reptiods. Get your shelter ready.

  235. K

    NASA engineers did not initially realize that “shoot the moon” was just an expression, and have now followed through to save face in the international community.

  236. freedomnow

    now were bombing the moon, lets just piss off the aliens on the dark side of the moon

  237. BillOk

    “embiggen” is not a word. The word is “enlarge.”

  238. Galileo

    If there is life on the Moon, that lives off water in the area being bombed, that life will surely be damaged by this ridiculous NASA plan? Retaliation is possible! Resistance is futile! Nice plan NASA!

  239. So NASA is going to bomb the moon to see if there is any ice on it. I realy don’t know why NASA needs to know if there is ice on the moon. If NASA needed ice, they could just go down to the 7-11 and buy a bag for about $2. Ice is just frozen water. So your tax dollars would be going to buy water, which is free, but since its frozen, I guess its a good deal. Do you ever notice the Moon is gone during the day? Is the Moon taking a lunch break? No one really seems to know. I guess its good then that NASA is going to bomb the moon. I’m going to wear a helmet just in case.

  240. Andrew

    I feel deeply for all those living on the moon who’s hypothetical water will be contaminated.

  241. Just wondering

    What’s up with the “Click to embiggen” under the photo? Is this ebonics magazine or Discover Magazine gone wild?? Just a question?

  242. Cheesel

    OH MY GOD!!! The Moon Mice will see this as an act of war and invade us for sure! Everybody get a cat now while you still can!

  243. Bryan

    How will this affect the wild horses?

  244. seell

    Click to “embiggen?”

    Obviously a Simpson’s fan.

    “A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man”
    – Jebediah Springfield

    Edna Krabappel: “Embiggens”? I never heard that word before I came to Springfield.
    Miss Hoover: I don’t know why. It’s a perfectly cromulent word.

  245. Glen

    this could be the beginning of the 2012 end of the world

  246. Chuckd

    Could someone tell me where I can get a copy of the EPA Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed activity on the moon?

  247. What if the bomb hits the moon just right, knocks it into some kind of new orbit, and then the moon crashes into the Earth destroying all of mankind!?

  248. Bagheera

    This is complete Lunarcy! :)

    Really, I’m looking forward to the event. We haven’t had anything like this in a while. We need more science that the whole world can participate in via TV and Internet. I will enjoy this with my children.

  249. Pastor Ken

    NASA bombs the moon, heh? Maybe Osama bin Laden is there. He is loony.

  250. Wayne Eason

    You are right. We’ll show those aliens not to screw around with us.
    (Well… probably not.)

  251. Dave

    What if the moon splits in half? Sounds like a scene from the last “Time Machine” movie…..

  252. Zeb

    Gee, what would happen if it screwed up the position, distance from the earth and orbit of the moon, so that it greatly affected our tides, weather, etc, and could then threaten our very survival?

    Why take the chance?

    Leave the moon the heck alone. Hasn’t man screwed up the earth and life enough.

  253. dean

    why are we attacking our nearest neighbor? typical human violent behavior. No wonder no aliens will reach out to us.

  254. Glen

    there are no “permanently dark ” areas of the moon where did you get that bogus info?

  255. Nigel

    I hope it dozent go kaboon and make asterods hit the earth!

  256. whimsical

    What is the most creative way to waste hundreds of millions of dollars? Bomb the moon!!!

  257. Armagedden

    Imagine the impact causes the moon to crack in half and come spiraling down into the earths atmosphere. Maybe we should wait until 2012 to launch the probe. lol. I have to admit, it would make a good Tanqueray commercial if they could harvest some moon ice for my next TNT.

  258. R.L.R.

    Most of these comments were very amusing and entertaining. Keep it up. But has anyone been told of the total cost of such an experiment? We live in a world where Medicare spends $4000 on a wheelchair that really costs only $700. Has anyone asked Pelosi or Frank for permission to do this? And can we read a copy of the legislation before the launch director presses the button?

  259. What if it destroys the Moon, where will we been then, it could be worse than the new movie 2012, I don’t like this Bombing of the Moon.

  260. marko

    What happenes if this bomb sets off a chain reaction and destoys the moon. This will change the speed of the earths rotation and change our orbit around The Sun.

  261. Josh

    Yeah, sure, this is really just a small explosion though, shouldn’t we just nuke the moon instead? In this case, foreign policy is more important than science.

  262. Its my understanding that the moons regolith is already known to be composed of minerals that can be used for fuel including: Oxygen, Hydrogen, Carbon, and Nitrogen.

    Johnr, who else are we saving the moon for? There’s no one there, no ecosystem, why not exploit it for our own benefit and establish a presence. Its kind of ironic that the material we need to establish a settlement on the moon just happen to be there. The last thing we need is a eco-jughead thinking the moon need be preserved…for meteorites.

  263. SierraBear

    “There is no dark side of the moon really; as a matter of fact it’s all dark.”

  264. dhiman

    Has anyone asked the basic question…. WHY? Who really cares. Why are they wasting money on this? Even if they do find water, what then? Waste more of our money getting the water? What has this world turned into? Idiotic government.

  265. Ben Grippin

    Makes no sense at all. Why do they need to implement destructive testing? The moon only takes a few days to get to, unlike Mars. A little planning, or at least some planning should go into this. They just decided a couple weeks ago there was lots of water on the moon and now it’s THAT important to find out right now?
    Plus wesley clark is in charge of it! Talk about a blind idiot leading the blind!
    There are obviously ulterior motives involved. Something else must be there.

  266. Dylan

    What a cromulent article.

  267. Brian

    So what? The local corner store sells 5 lb bags of ice for 79 cents.

  268. firethemall

    They’ve known about water for years, why do you think that once India announced the discovery NASA played it down and provided data as well.

    The reason they want to bomb the moon: To destroy evidence of ET presence, because other nations will soon be able to see the moon for themselves and NASA wants to hide the BIG secret for as long as possible.

  269. WTH

    Why would you shoot a bomb at the moon? We don’t have enough money here on earth, why would you waste important money for a bombing on the moon.

  270. thats what she said

    why are we spending money on this. whats the point?

  271. Pakkav

    What if they find oil? or Jimy Hoffa or Elvis?

  272. So, we’ll bomb the moon but don’t have enough troops in Afghanistan ?

  273. Rob

    They’re not bombing the moon – just letting a stage of a spacecraft crash land in a controlled way into a crater to try to make a dent in the surface and find water underneath. Amazing how big media has exaggerated the story into, “Nasa to Bomb the Moon”. However….

  274. mike

    I know this will be a dumb question, as I am not a science whiz, but I will ask nonetheless. Is there any potential impact or consequence regarding the moon’s orbit or axis alignment? I can only assume the impact will not be great enough.

  275. This isn’t going to end well; everyone knows that the lunar south pole is where Cthulu lives…

  276. Billy Bob

    They should just send Bear Gillis

  277. Old_sailor

    OK so what if they do discover ice on the moon. Then what ?

    Is NASA going to transport this ice back to mother earth and resell it to the highest bidder or are they just going to spend all of this money to fly to the moon, discover the ice and then publish a news article saying that their is ice on the moon.

    Another waste of good tax payer dollars with nothing positive accormplished.

  278. I haven’t been overly surprised at the misconceptions I hear about LCROSS and the impact planned for Friday morning but, is ASHA BEH’s article( calling it a bomb laden missile, typical of the reporting?
    It is not a bomb, it carries no bombs and, it would likely defeat the science if it were a bomb.
    Since the source is an accredited news organization, some fact checking would have been nice before that term was used.

  279. Chuck

    I thought the moon was flat

  280. Homer

    What if it just happens that the shot hits the Moon’s Achilles’ heel, the only spot which is vulnerable and the moon splits in half or worse? What are they thinking?!

  281. Hyperion

    After reading many of the comments here, it is a sad day to be a member of the human race. We’re going to hurt the moon. Why could we possibly want to go into space, after all, we have corrupt politician created artificial crises to deal with here on earth. Cretins. Go crawl back under a stone age rock somewhere and die, eliminate yourself from the gene pool so the rest of us can continue to evolve. Dummies.

  282. Oh come on people! This is a marvelous use of taxpayer dollars. The inimitable Frank J., proprietor of the IMAO blog explained all of this to us years ago. It is absolutely felicitous that his vision is finally being fulfilled.

    Read and be enlightened/amused: Nuke The Moon

    And for the guy who wanted a “bomb the moon” T-Shirt? Well these Nuke The Moon T-shirts have been available for years. Check ’em out.

  283. Hyperion

    It’s clear that the human race has to split into 2 separate species. 1. The inbred neanderthals that think there is no reason that we need to explore space, the same driveling idiots that sit on their sofa every evening and watch stupid brainless prime time TV, their only source of intellectual stimulation. Same breed of idiots that said the world was flat and executed scientific thinkers for saying the earth was not the center of the universe. 2. Those of us who actually do not believe everything that corrupt politicians tell us and who might occasionally think about something beyond the next episode of Lost. God, get me the f-u-k off this rock!

  284. kevin67

    Missile? Embiggen? Sounds like a mission funded by Viagra.

  285. Henry

    “Click to embiggen” Nice work with the spell check DISCOVER.

  286. Reality

    Water on Mars? Water on the moon? Ha ha ha ha…
    What a big waste of time and resources. There is no life on the moon or mars or any water. Its all a crock a crap. Lets spend more time and money helping people out here on earth.

  287. JA


  288. Tom B

    I don’t have a telescope handy. Will it be visible with binoculars?

  289. anonymous

    I like where this probes going

  290. jimmy

    Title should read: With few places left to bomb, America sets sights on moon.

  291. ssmith

    The moonites are going to be MAD!

  292. Chuch S

    Still stuck on that millions and billions of years theory eh? If you guys and gals can call my beliefs fiction then I can call yours that as well. You like I cannot prove a thing about it but believe it to be a fact.

  293. I’m sure if LEPA (Lunar Environmental Protection Agency) gets wind of this, Al Gore will be doing another documentary.

    And what? No environmental impact study? No ARRP funds? No SEIU protesters?

  294. nasa_genius

    The moon is the “high ground” because it has military significance. We need to take it and build military bases. Thus, we need to have water to drink and make oxygen for breathing and hydrogen for fuel. Not sure what we are going to eat. Maybe cheese. Then, we can lob nuclear weapons at the countries on earth we need to conquer.

  295. joe

    water if found should make the moon the stepping stone for man into outer space,good luck

  296. mark

    How old is the moon,,,,millions or billions. what about trillions……your so called educated guess at not better than mine. What a waste of resources. We have terrorists to kill back here at Earth. We need that fire power….. How about finding water in a terrorist camp in pakistan or Afganistan……

  297. BT

    They’re gonna expose the moon’s icehole?

  298. worried

    embiggen…..dear God

  299. chris

    Maybe they can fire obama into the moon. !

  300. Louiseitis

    What is the point of this lunacy (get it?)? Seriously, this is ridiculous. We can’t live up there, and we don’t want to even if we could. What right do you have to do something this destructive? While I support NASA, I don’t support this. 80 million dollars of our money worth of stupidity! We weren’t even asked about it. We would have voted NO!

  301. MoonMan

    Click to embiggen? What the heck is “Embiggen?” Click to embiggen? Who proof read this? Embiggen?! I am efforting to understand.

  302. Johnny Blaze
  303. Joe Blow

    Isn’t Pink Floyd on the dark side of the moon?

  304. devan

    Watch for a report from AP about how many innocents were killed in the bomb’s colateral damage and blame it on the American military…. and Bush!

  305. enigma3131

    What if the moon fires back?

  306. Randy Smith

    It took billions of years to get the moon to do what it does right now. If you even touch something in space it has the inertia that is almost constant and is easily influenced and as for the moon, I believe that if thousand adults took a running step at the same time in the same direction (North to South) on the moon, it would start a wobble that would not end for about 60,000 years. But it would not happen either because the moons distance from earth depends on the steady movement that it has right now. And yes as others explained in these “Says:” We depend so much on the moon to live in this tiny little human time spand that we are in right now.
    I know Carl Sagen WOULD NOT APPROVE!!!
    I guess it’s to late. I just found out today on the 6th that this was even happening, or I would have done my best to warn or stop those who act without thinking through things so important.

  307. Larry

    Was just wondering?? NASA Is launching a missle tomorrow that will impact the moon? Are we at war with the moon? No it’s for ice deposits on the moon but the impact will be so large that there will be a debris plume large enough to see from earth.The impact will take place at 7:30 am on Friday(eastern time) and will be visible by telescope or on the NASA channel. I am sure this has nothing to do with the doomsday comet that is expected to impact the earth Dec 21 2012??? This is probably not a practice run or anything?…….Just a thought.

  308. Rudwaan AmenRa Lumumba

    who does the moon belong to? can Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea all launch impacts against the moon? what gives NASA the right to do this? did they consult with the other inhabitants of this planet? what if this triggers a negative reaction, like a lunar tsunami? do they know everything? who gave them the right to make this decision for the planet?

  309. some guy

    What happened to voting? Why is it that I just found out about this yesterday? Why is it that our government utilizes all of our tax dollars for useless crap that we don’t even know about? Bring back common sense people… SERIOUSLY. Oh, and who the hell comes up with this crap? Maybe thier front yard needs to get bombed, just to see if any ionized water vapor gets stirred up…

  310. Steve

    Just when you thought NASA had nothing better to do…

  311. Danny

    Has anybody checked with the moon people to see how they feel about this? The article did not say.

  312. JHB

    Does the Lord High 0 have any idea what we’re all talking about here?
    Suppose somebody tells HIM?
    Suppose somebody tells Biden?

  313. Kathy K

    Anybody out there read Life As We Knew It? Young adult disaster novel about what happens after an impact knocks the moon off its orbit. Not a happy ending.

  314. dan

    those are my tax dollars, who asked me? dear govt. when the people figure you out your in big trouble, we the people run this country not you the lieing, cheating, double talking turds whom hold public office.

  315. Pat

    Better be water “in them there-ah hills”. Need it to ” a step farther out” as Jerry Pournelle pointed out with his cutting edge book back in the early 70’s. A book that pointed out back then if America continued down a path centered on conservation, environmentalist socialist ideology, and Club of Rome finite economics it would find the country in exactly the situation it does today. Pournelle’s vision of 35 years ago is an answer for many of today’s economic issues if we would only listen.

    I won’t say which one,( but there may be many), an asteroid out there contains enough silver to back all America’s currency in current circulation, and ten times that, as it was with gold before the 1930’s. It could be mined shaped, shielded with silicates, foamed, in order to re-enter the atmosphere, slide into the Pacific and be towed to a smelter Stateside. Out there is material and wealth to save our Planet now, and in a couple of generations even build worlds, not just live on one waiting to be subjected to a fate like dinosaurs 65 million years ago. In addition every 50 to 100,000 years an event triggered by solar output/orbital permutations/super volcanic eruption/large but not extinction event asteroid impact triggers huge climate change, temporary heating, or cooling that leads to die off of dominant species on Earth at the time. Climate is dynamic and harsh quite often, ask a Cro-Magnon or Neanderthal.

    I know this sounds outlandish, but it isn’t. Mankind is at a crossroads, we can listen to Sierra Club, Al Gore, Lovins, or UN types and pour trillions into stopping Global Warming, which is unnecessary due to new science proving so, or use the same trillions to improve human condition and allow continued development that will allow mankind to truly spread out.

    It takes vision. With a professional activist for a paycheck in the White House, a majority of congressmen made up of Lawyers, more paycheck activists, and social workers this vision not just missing, Washington is running fast as it can away from it. Most politicians have little, or no education in scientific material, beyond watching Star Wars on a big screen.

    I believe if man fails to expand off planet in the next few decades it will be too late. Friedman’s flat world will allow some nut country, or terror group to get a hold of nukes, or worse. Environmental McCarthyism will create a different, but equally deadly slow death scenario due to slow exhausting of available resources required for an advanced civilization to continue to thrive.

    What then? A collapse of international trade follows, extinction of current civilization and wealth creation necessary to support development eventually able to exploit the entire solar system. A new dark age would ensue and by the time more reasonable people are able to sort out the mess Earth’s condition could be too far gone to build up civilization to its present ability to provide surplus wealth necessary to do so.

    The stakes are much “higher” than most realize.

  316. Duck dodgers

    One of these things will happen:

    1. We’ll knock off a Texas size chunk which will fall into the pacific ocean and kill us all in a 30,000 ft. Tidal wave

    2. We’ll set it into a violent, chaotic rotation causing it to wobble in and out of orbit until it finally slingshots into the earth. Turning us into a donut.

    3. Candy will pour out and it will rain skittles on the earth.

  317. Nicole

    The power of free will… If the unexpected happens tomorrow are we prepared to face it? Who will save the Earth form a disaster? We always have so many questions to answer, now we have depend on NASA to find something. In due time we will find out the outcome. May God Bless the World. “V on the moon”.

  318. BpSitRep

    Unintended consequences…what if this ‘bomb’ releases Space Godzilla??

  319. sonny

    my bets on ‘no water found’. extra credit for the try though.

    on another note, in the twilight zone episode, the impact turns out to be more drastic than anticipated, causing a slight tweak to the moon’s orbit and wreaks havoc on earth for years to come.

  320. NJdave

    This is nothing more than an outer space weapons test, under the guise of a search for water on the moon. (see above post) Oh, and good for us for doing this…..Far better that we rapidly develpoe this capability, than the russians or chinese.

    The US is still the best country in the world, and, certianly the most benovlent superpower that ever existed. If you disagree with that, then think about a world in which china, or russia, or iran were the worlds lone superpower….if any of these scenario’s were to become reality, your lives woud be hell!!


    The deleted scene from the end of Godzilla – The monster banished to the dark side of the moon, and frozen in the ice caverns of the great meteor craters. Only to be awoken when the ice shield is broken unleashing it’s fury upon the known universe.

    Or maybe not.. remember people, the size and magnitude of the explosion will be a similar force as throwing a grain of sand at a bowling ball. Not to mention that the importance of discovering water on the moon means that space travel will be far easier if we can launch from the moon, not having to use up 10zillion gallons of fuel just to lift off earth. Go for it NASA, I want to live on mars one day. I hear they have nice chocolate

  322. pj

    When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie…..

  323. Has any one asked that this may not be a good idea? If the moon splits in half…I am going to be mad.

  324. Dennis

    Conservatives haven’t mentioned this project at all in their protests because there is no possible way this spending will help people get jobs. G-d forbid that people should stop the desperate begging to their corporate feudal lords for health insurance benefits.

    Perhaps a scientist can win the nobel prize for stopping this nonsense and spending the science money to see which delicious foods could help prevent diabetes and heart disease while sustainably reducing pollution?

    What if we figure out how to power our cities, drive to work, and heat/cool our homes without killing our favorite parts of nature we want to live in? But wait, that will create more green jobs and make people less desperate to their corporate overlords. Conservatives will not tolerate that.

  325. Sam Snead

    If the moon splits into pieces, will Earth’s gravitational pull drag the pieces to Earth, or will we get rings like Saturn?

  326. OK, everyone knows that the moon is made of cheese!
    If they sent up some pasta this impact couldmake alot of mac’n’cheese!

  327. Pamoja

    Why don’t we send a man “back” to the moon to collect samples? We have 40 years of more advanced technology to do it, right?

  328. EddieV

    It’s about time we bombed the Moon. It ignores all U.N. resolutions.

  329. Dryden01

    Did anyone bother to do an environmental impact statement on the impact? Will it affect global warming on the moon? Could visitng Martians take offense if they are crushed by the device, triggering an inter-steller war? Maybe President Obama should think about it first for a month or two?

  330. ermisa

    I clicked, and it embiggened!

  331. John Lament

    Before we do this, we should create a special committee to investigate the possibility of forming a group to study the effects of moon flashes on the three-eyed, spotted loonatoad. It is quite possible that this event could have far-reaching environmental effects here on Earth, including a sharp rise in methane levels, due to sudden releases by a startled loonatoad population. This may, if followed to its logicial conclusion, create an imbalance in the atmostphere, exacerbating the effects of Global Warming. Ultimately, this is likely to cause catastropic loss of life as the sea level rises by an estimated five to 100 feet. Residents of Denver may find themselves clinging to their roofs to escape flood waters. Stop the moon experiments now!

  332. Carl O. DeWilde

    If they needed something disposable to toss at the moon and throw up some dust, why all the elaborate spacecraft? Why not just get a big slingshot and load up Michael Moore? He’s certain to make a big crater. And, it goes without saying that this would have secondary benefits for all of mankind and the environment, not to mention the food supply. And if you do–by chance–miss the moon, no problem! There are 435 projectiles…I mean members of Congress and 100 more in the Senate. Suddenly, I’m all for this project. In fact, I think the Sun is beginning to look like it might have water, too! We might want to send some “probes” there. Who’s with me?

  333. Russ

    Conduct all the scientific experiments on the moon before the envionmentalest/greenees get to the moon and screw everything up for all the rest of us. Then bomb the moon to observe the effects if any. There has already been enough rocket pieces impacting upon the moon to cause the inhabitance, if any are left after the experiments are conducted, to declare war against us and that hasn’t happened as of yet. At some point we should send all the democrat polliticians to the moon and they can live on all the cheese and water that is sure to be found there. After all, rats are supposed to like cheese aren’t they?

  334. LEGION

    NASA`s LCross is not about discovering water, it`s about determining if these ” class III civilization” Giant beings with their machines and ships are still there.

    Now NASA an adjunct of the Department of Defense has decided to wage war against a superior force under the guise of looking for known water.

    Based on “critical indicators” what happened to India`s satellite being “SNATCHED” and our LCross satellite losing a great deal of it`s fuel when it was ” out of contact” with mission control due to an “anomalous glitch”…it appears that the “THINGS” of incomprehensible size ARE STILL THERE !!



  335. General Johnson Jameson

    I for one applaud this pre-emptive strike upon the Moon. For too many years now the Moon has been meddling with our tides and our women’s menstrual cycles. If the moon is willing to do this, who knows what is next? This is a very slippery slope, and we need to think of the children. Once we turn Cabeus into a glass parking lot, those green skin moon men will know better than to mess with the greatest planet in the galaxy.

    General Johnson Jameson.

  336. General Johnson Jameson
  337. Shoot The Moon

    I guess NASA is going to drop trou and “shoot the moon.”

  338. Ira Dumas

    Thanks for deleting my expletive-free post, moderators. Looks like a case of pure political bias. Why should I have expected any more from a website run by Discover Magazine? Discover you world? I doubt you could discover your own butts with both hands and a flashlight. Good luck with “your” world, run by propaganda Nazis and thought police with small minds and mediocre IQs. Besides, typing angry notes to idiots is great therapy for me, and I thank you for providing the opportunity.

  339. Dave

    Embiggen!! my eyes bulged, what was that word……i had to look it up. It is a word. This MUST prove these NASA guys are really smart! Like our class nerd. How about ZOOM! for all us laymen. lol

  340. GOD


    There is water everywhere, Hydrogen and Oxygen- no comets needed. Now, whether the needed elements have combined…another matter. All of Earth’s water was formed in the earth. The moon is a piece of the Earth…go figure.
    When the Earth cooled to solid form, these elements recombined…amazing!!! Much like like the oil we use……..heheheheehehehehhe

  341. Ish

    Too bad NASA and the “moon landings” are total frauds and none of this is true. If anyone knows anything about the immense radiation and the nature of the Van Allen Belt and the impossibility of getting anything past it, they would know there is no way any of this outer space “news” is true. So many people duped in order to hide what’s really been going on: Weaponization for future wars.

  342. Toast

    lots of jokes. Imbalancing the rotation of the moon will thow off the Earths tides, and could potentially create tidal waves and disaster. Sending two rockets without any clue as to what is underneath makes me very nervous! How do other countries feel about this? Would we mind the Soviet Union sent a few rockets next? Are we THAT detached to our own relationship to the universe around it? Or just overconfident?

  343. If miscalculations occur, and the Moon leaves it’s orbit ….. We – Are – Dead. Thanks NASA ….. Didn’t want to live forever anyway.

  344. Crapitude

    Oh, great. The Mooninites (Ignignokt and Err) will destroy us with their Atari blip gun.

  345. George Costanza

    unless Coca Cola wants to sponsor it, Obama should suspend NASA until our economy recovers. this is a huge waste of taxpayer money at a time when we can not afford it.

    PS: If we really landed there in the 60s why can’t you see that ATV, the American Flag or anything else from that “landing” from a telescope??? Why has there been no manned missions to the moon since??? That landing was faked.

  346. Driller

    I hope that OIL pops up and then we start DRILLING for oil on the moon since we dont drill in Anwar and other places… then we can get the moon oil rigs going and start some space shuttle tanker services to ship the oil back to earth! :-)

  347. Valueappraiser

    I feel stupid asking this question, but, I am confused….how does this bomb combust if there is no oxygen on the moon? How is spacecraft powered through the vacuum of space? Is space not really a vacuum? Just wondering….

  348. Dr J

    Could it be possible that NASA hopes to destroy our 1969 “Moon Landing” evidence before any other countries get there? After all, our flag should still be waving in the vacuum. I truly believe we made it to the moon, don’t you all?

  349. “Click to embiggen.”


    What’s up with that?

  350. Servantof7

    Man has no respect for God and his creations, albeit, The Planets in the solar system, Mother Earth herself, creatures any and all life forms. That man and his barbaric curious ways wants to try and BLOWUP one of God’s Planets???? Just to see if there is water??? Jesus is the way, the truth the life, He is the Living water. How Stupid and ignorant man is, Does the Moon look like there is life on it? The Moon has got to be the deadest looking Planet out there absent of any color even like the other planets. Since Star Wars was scrapped, Man has to find an excuse to BLOW UP the Heavens all in the name of science. How about concentrating on spending money and finding cures for diseases? What a waste of money and flesh! Lord come quickly, Please. All in due time, he says in these last days you will see the signs of his coming to just look up at the Heavens and the stars among them and all around you! Know your Jesus, know your Bible, the Lord is coming, and be awake and alert.

  351. Catherine Mitchell

    I think this is more of an earth geopolitical maneuver than anything else. N Korean missiles fall into the sea. Iran says it can hit anything on earth.

    So we bomb the moon….StarWars here we come.

    The science data is just the icing on the cake (if its there great, if not—we have still proven our
    ‘supremacy’ for now.

    Big boys with toys are scary.

  352. Lee

    What a waste of my money!

  353. fishing head

    OMG !
    There goes the MOON TIDE , What happened next ? where do we go fishing ?
    NASA morans , leave the moon alone . You can find water in the oceans , and if you like I will lead you to one free of charge .
    Spend the money on education and health instead !

  354. Kenny C

    We keep putting material on the moon…..not to mention that buggy, flag and golf ball…..moon getting heavier….we’re getting lighter…..soon the gravitational difference change will cause the moon to join us……run… for your lives…..doomed….all mankind doomed……hehe…..I hadn’t had my coffee yet

  355. Pawn

    I miss the days when only smart people had computers.

  356. Knavessuck

    RL- the article plainly says that they will detect the molecules of the water upon evaporation as well. this way, there will be no loss if the ice cracks everywhere. Don’t you think that rocket scientists and the geniuses of the world would have thought of that?!!!! lol. This looks intriguing. T.E.L.- how much time, money, and fuel does it take to bring millions of gallons of water from Earth to the moon? Take that number and compare it to melting the ice on the moon and bringing it to your little moon hut or whatever. We aren’t looking for water on the moon for Earth! Earth has a ridiculous amount of water! The oceans can be refined. We are looking on the moon to see if we can colonize because the Earth is now running close to capacity. Also, an oxygen atmosphere can be created from water. At least an artificial one.

  357. Knavessuck

    Dr J- the flag doesn’t wave in a vacuum. just letting you know

  358. Maybe, just maybe we should be messing with something God created and takes care of HIMSELF ?
    It would seem this ‘ice’ is there to counter whatever ‘warming’ is happening – so they need to kill that so their theory of global warming will actually materialize and we can be taxed some more for climate issues.
    What idiots.

  359. phil

    The planets in our solar system are pristine natural environments that should be left undisturbed. All future space exploration needs to be halted and the EPA needs to do an in-depth study to measure the carbon footprint that is being left by all this reckless “scientific” exploration. Hell for all we know there might be some caribou wandering around up there somewhere?

  360. Knavessuck

    Dr J- The flag wouldn’t wave in space. just letting you know. I agree with you completely. We made it to the moon completely. Valueappraiser- its not actually a bomb. its just a projectile thats traveling at high speeds and will collide with the moon. Driller- It would cost far more than the lives of snail darters in ANWR and the relocation of elk and moose. Imagine sending space tankers up there that need to make a trip to the moon and back. that is not profitable and asinine. The thing is, we have plenty of oil. We even have oil in shale deposits. This is, of course, assuming that everything still runs on oil/electricity in the future, which is not a realistic concept. Costanza- You are not very smart, my man. DUKE NUKEM- excellent second comment. When you get past the jokes in yours there is quite a bit of truth. Toast- first of all, they aren’t rockets. Second of all, the impact wont through off the moon. You, sir, are an idiot. the interesting thing about what you are saying is, even if you are correct, the moon will still go back to its original spot in Earth’s gravitational pull. GOD- besides the laughing, I agree with what you are saying. Didn’t want to make this post completely negative…. The rest of you imbeciles out there, do not fret!!! Your @$$es will be handed to you in due time from another person. Hahaha.

  361. Clear and Present

    Some things: 1. It amazes me that the brain dead adherents to the two party system (actually one party) can make any article or forum a platform for their mutual hatred – and after they have totally screwed up this country, they can argue about the moon. 2. If the fundamental premise is that “since the moon is billions of years old there should be billions of tons of ice”, if they do not find billions of tons of ice… What then? Do you suppose NASA is going to admit the miscalculation? Or will she do what she always does… Offer a new postulate as to what happened to the “missing” ice.

  362. qix77

    I think they are going about it all wrong. They should just shoot a bunch of ICBMs and blow the whole thing up…. mainly because it’s blocking my view of Beta-Aquilae… well… that and I like big explosions.

  363. kirok

    they should keep their eyes peeled for a black monolith

  364. Jim from Texas

    Reconsider the Olympics decision or we are shooting down the moon!!

  365. Roco The Funny Man

    This will not end well……….

  366. Bert and Ernie

    All you wannabe chemists, relax. It’s moon water, not earth water.
    Tastes a little bitter, but the moon folks like it.
    They get embiggened when they drink it.

  367. Roco The Funny Man

    “NASA will bomb the moon.”

    So they’re sending Chuck Norris to the moon???

  368. Einstein

    If we bomb the moon, we will have nothing more than a glob of melted cheese.

  369. Terry Hillick

    Without a magnetosphere and an ozone layer wouldn’t the ice carry a lot of radiation? Does that complicate the ability for a future station to produce usable resources?

  370. stan bernstein

    was an enviremental impact study done? Some space critter might be at risk!

  371. Miss Hoover

    What’s the big deal with the word embiggen, It’s a perfectly cromulent word.

  372. Allen

    Another thought, maybe with the supposed global warming and rising sea levels, they should just take the water from here to the moon.
    Personally IF the sea levels are to raise, why not build distillers on the coasts of Africa etc and convert the rising sea water into clean water, pump it all over Africa, they could plant trees everywhere, grow crops, feed their stock and no longer reply on everyone else to bail them out, maybe Africans would want to go back to Africa again?
    Oh well in the perfect world it will work, but hey let’s spend money on trying to find water on the moon inside, really makes sense.
    Maybe Al green Gore could spend all the “Green” money he’s making on the distillers?

  373. the dude

    Its funny to me that we “went to the moon” in the 60’s and 40 years later we are shooting a probe up there to attempt to find out if there is ice. If we really went to the moon in the 60’s we should be able to send someone up in the chair lift we have built to the moon by now and check for ice in person.

  374. Pierre

    “where sunlight will break it up into O+ and OH- molecules, which can be detected”
    Sounds interesting but O+ doesn’t exist, if it’s breaking it, it has to be in either H+, H3O+ and OH-…
    Journalists should spend more time in highschool. As they are used to, they barely understand what they are talking about

  375. Bob

    It’s George Bush’s fault!!!


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