Hitchhiker's Guide to Rukl Chart V

Schrodinger (Akkana)
A large crater with a central ring mountain, rather like a mini-Orientale, though these details may not be visible at all, though it's worth trying in an extreme eastern libration.

Schrodinger's Valley bisects nearby Sikorsky, and looks like it should be visible from earth during a favorable libration.

Mawson and the Lunar Prospector Crash Site (Jane Houston)
Lunar Prospector is nearing the completion of its full 18 month primary and extended missions. Many new insights into lunar science have resulted. As the spacecraft nears the end of its useful lifetime, a bold experiment will make a final attempt to glean a last nugget of science from an already successful mission. A team of scientists led by David Golstein of the University of Texas will endeavor to smash the tiny spacecraft into a permanently shadowed south pole crater. If all goes well in this low probability, high pay-off attempt, a direct signal of water ice could be viewed by land and spacebased telescopes. The crash time is 0951 UTC on July 31.

The Prospector will crash into a permanently shadowed crater on the Lunar south pole. The crater is named Mawson. It is near the south Pole of the moon, an area in permanent shadow. Although the Lunar Prospector spacecraft will weigh only 354 pounds (161 kilograms) at mission end, the energy at impact will be the equivalent of crashing a two-ton car at more than 1,100 miles per hour.

The current plan calls for a controlled impact of the Lunar Prospector spacecraft in the early morning hours of July 31 directly into a small crater (Mawson), located at the southern lunar pole. This crater is ideal for the proposed experiment. It is only 31 to 38 miles (50 to 60 kilometers) across and has a rim which is high enough to provide a permanent shadow, yet it is low enough to provide for a suitable spacecraft impact trajectory. Data from other observations suggest that the crater could contain a high concentration of water ice. Finally, the crater is observable at impact time from Earth-based observatories and orbiting platforms.

Much of the area around the south pole is within the South Pole-Aitken Basin (shown at left in blue on a lunar topography image), a giant impact crater 2500 km (1550 miles) in diameter and 12 km deep at its lowest point. Many smaller craters exist on the floor of this basin. Since they are down in this basin, the floors of many of these craters are never exposed to sunlight.

"The argument for targeting [the Mawson] crater is that it is both in permanent shadow, as shown by our radar data, and also has a high hydrogen abundance, as shown by new Lunar Prospector data. This makes it a prime candidate for water ice deposits."

[On Rukl libration chart V], the 1/3 semi circle (unnamed and featureless) and near crater Malapert is crater Mawson (I think!) - it looks like it when compared to the photos on the web pages above.

Editor's note: Here's a NASA Space Science News article with a couple of photos of the planned impact site.

Lyot (Akkana)
A prominent, very dark crater, much like Cruger over on the western side of the moon.

Moon-Lite Atlas for chart VChart 01>>

This page last modified: Oct 03, 2011
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Moon Compilation is © Copyright 1999,2000,2002 Akkana Peck.

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