Yes, you read that correctly. And there’s really no question mark.
This Friday, NASA is going to fire a “missile” (empty fuel tank) into the surface of the moon to find out if there is water or, more likely, ice.
The cost? $79 million. NASA is a government agency, which means this is your tax dollars at work.
Do you like how the agency’s spending them?
Before you weigh in, though, a little food for thought. Supporters of the LCROSS mission (LUNAR CRATER OBSERVATION AND SENSING SATELLITE) insist that, by NASA standards, this is a cheap mission.
They also point out that it will yield immediate results.
We’ll know when the missile kicks up a six mile-high cloud of dust whether there’s water in it or not. And it will help determine whether the U.S. spends millions more in the future to send astronauts back to the moon.
A future mission may be much harder to defend if there’s no water and no means of supporting life.
So…what’s your sense? Is this an expensive flight of fancy? Or a smart way to determine our future course in space exploration? Weigh in on our Curiosity blog.
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