Schrodinger's Valley bisects nearby Sikorsky, and looks like it should be visible from earth during a favorable libration.
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.
|Moon-Lite Atlas for chart V||Chart 01|