From October 8, 2009 CNN:
Assuming I wake up early enough, I'll roll Big Bertha 2.0 out for a look see.
NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite is scheduled to drop its Centaur upper-stage rocket on the lunar surface at 7:31 a.m. ET.
NASA hopes the impact will kick up enough dust to help the LCROSS probe find the presence of water in the moon's soil. Four minutes later, the LCROSS will follow through the debris plume, collecting and relaying data back to Earth before crashing into the Cabeus crater near the moon's south pole.
The LCROSS is carrying spectrometers, near-infrared cameras, a visible camera and a visible radiometer. These instruments will help NASA scientists analyze the plume of dust -- more than 250 metric tons' worth -- for water vapor.
"We expect the debris plumes to be visible through midsized backyard telescopes -- 10 inches and larger," said Brian Day at NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California. Day is an amateur astronomer who is leading education and public outreach for the LCROSS mission.