Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

LCROSS Centaur separation and braking burn successful

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

08-10-2009 22:55 CDT

Topics: mission status, LCROSS

LCROSS and its Centaur upper stage have separated successfully, and the LCROSS shepherd spacecraft has braked in order to follow behind the Centaur when both impact the Moon tomorrow. Everything seemed to go perfectly. Here's a four-frame animation (covering about 5 minutes of real time) of the Centaur slowly drifting away from LCROSS. It's always special to see artifacts that we built here on Earth, floating in the utterly alien environment of space.

LCROSS watches the Centaur move ahead


LCROSS watches the Centaur move ahead
At 7 p.m. Pacific time on October 8 (02:00 UTC October 9), LCROSS watched its Centaur upper stage drift slowly away. The two had just separated after spending more than 100 days orbiting Earth together. The Centaur will impact the Moon four minutes before the LCROSS shepherding spacecraft at 4:31 a.m. Pacific / 11:31 UTC on October 9.

That's it for me for the night; I've got my alarm set for 3:15 local time tomorrow morning, when I will get up and start Tweeting away about the upcoming impact. I have shipped off my toddler to her grandparents, but the 5-month-old needs to be with me. I am quite sure she'll wake up at some critical moment; but that's why they invented pacifiers, right?

See you all in about 7 hours...

See other posts from October 2009


Or read more blog entries about: mission status, LCROSS


Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

Planetary Defense

An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent. Working together to fund our Shoemaker NEO Grants for astronomers, we can help save the world.


Featured Images

LightSail 2 and Prox-1
Bill Nye at LightSail 2 pre-ship review
LightSail 2 pre-ship review team photo
Swirling maelstrom
More Images

Featured Video

Class 9: Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune

Watch Now

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join The Planetary Society

Let’s explore the cosmos together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!