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Orbiting Atlas #2: Cabeus December 21, 2009

Posted by Nick Azer in Cabeus, LCROSS, NASA, Orbiting Atlas.

For our second exploration of notable locations on the Moon, we look at the site of NASA’s famous “Moon Bombing” with its LCROSS craft…


A crater enveloped in deep shadow, about 80 miles north of Shackleton and the lunar South Pole (and ~1,000 miles south of the nearest Mare), Cabeus  had drawn a lot of attention because that permanent shadow meant a possibility of valuable water ice.

In October 2009, NASA proceeded to explore the possibility by crashing an LCROSS payload and its spent Centaur rocket into the darkness of Cabeus to try and stir up some of that ice. Turns out that “moon bombing” was successful—water was found in impressive quantities.

This makes the lunar south pole, already a prime target for colonial efforts, even more valuable a location. With only that short 80 miles seperating the solar-rich Shackleton rim and Cabeus’ water holdings, this region could rapidly become one of the most well-developed areas of the colonial Moon—the next New England? :)

Here’s a video of the moon bombing (embedded below), enhanced by Zebonka on Youtube to show the impact flash; and also, check out this brief video that gives a great feel of the location of Cabeus!



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