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NASA to Launch Probe to Seek Water on Moon

April 15, 2006|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

NASA plans to send a 2-ton probe crashing into a crater on the moon in hopes of discovering whether it harbors water that could be used for manned missions, the agency said Monday.

The $73-million probe, to be built by Northrop Grumman Corp., is set to be launched in 2008 aboard a rocket carrying a sophisticated lunar mapper. When the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite strikes the crater, it is expected to create a hole 16 feet deep and send up a 2.2-million-pound plume of debris for sensors and cameras on a second spacecraft to monitor.

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