Thursday, June 18, 2009

LRO/LCROSS Launch

LRO/LCROSS just launched. It was very pretty. Most of us here at work are standing around right now watching the video feed of the computer animation that reflects the telemetry coming from the Centaur upper stage. When launches happen, not much work gets done around here ...

When I first looked at the rocket, I thought to myself, "Why are they using an Atlas 5 to go to the moon?!" The Atlas 5 is what MRO launched on in 2005 -- it's a very big rocket that at first blush seems like overkill for a lunar lunch. Nevertheless, going to the moon is nearly as hard as going to Mars, as far as C3 expended, and with the need to push the upper stage on the same trajectory, it does make sense after all.

Very pretty.

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