crashed two probes into the moon
. Don’t worry though, they totally meant to do it. The two probes were slammed into the lunar surface at over 5000 miles per hour in order to throw up a plume of debris that could be analyzed for signs of water ice. Those non-science types watching online were hoping for a visible plume of dust from the impacts. They were disappointed.
The expected 6-mile plume of debris didn’t materialize, but according to NASA scientists it went just fine on their end. LCROSS principal investigator Tony Colaprete said, “I saw variations in the spectra. I'm thrilled—that's a very good sign. The spectra is where the science is."
The Centaur probe hit the surface first, while being monitored by the LCROSS probe. The LCROSS then took the plunge itself. The area of impact was selected because the craters near the South Pole are never completely illuminated by the sun, meaning ice could be present. Colaprete said in the press conference, “If there's water there, or anything else interesting, we'll find it."