LCROSS Mission Cost?

The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) is now traveling to the moon at 5592 mph and will crash-land in order to gather data from the 6-mile-high impact cloud it will create.
I don't like this mission, I don't think we should be messing with our moon this way. Maybe we'll suffer repercussions.
What is the total cost of the LCROSS mission?

asked by Amber in Astronomy & Space | 5438 views | 10-09-2009 at 12:45 PM

The LCROSS spacecraft was built and integrated by Northrop Grumman under contract to NASA Ames Research Center and was available for acceptance in 29 months. The total mission cost is $79 million.
I think just like you. The human race should limit to destroy its own planet and not the rest of the planets too.

answered by Dinamo | 10-09-2009 at 12:46 PM

My baby girl was diagnosed with Stage4 cancer at age 2. She is now 7 and doing well. In 5 yrs, I have been to 11 funerals for children under the age of 18. That $79 mil sure would come in handy - let's find a cure and leave the moon alone!

answered by concernedmommy | 10-09-2009 at 04:29 PM

Do some research and I'm sure you will find less important (more expensive) things to complain about.

answered by GOD | 10-09-2009 at 06:15 PM

I'm all for science, however, I agree with "concerned mommy" that that much money could have been used for a better purpose.

answered by Guest | 10-09-2009 at 07:34 PM

Okay, first, don't voice any concerns about destroying the moon. It makes you sound stupid. The moon sustains impacts equal to and greater than the LCROSS collision regularly. It didn't even send up a visible plume, let alone a six mile high cloud.

Second, $79 million for a NASA operation of this scale is a bargain. If you're in America, you should keep in mind that the first thing your president did when he got into office was to increase the national deficit by $1 Trillion. Maybe you should complain about that instead. It would make you look like less of a tool.

answered by Neodymium | 10-10-2009 at 12:41 AM

Guest = Gerard

Concerned Mommy, best wishes and hopes. I struggle with this question of priorities. I love space science but believe that your daughter is precious beyond measure. Still, some money is appropriately spent on these missions. I had a conversation with a co-worker today about this and continued to think about it as I drove home.

Certainly there is a limit. But looking back on the history of science, many, many researches pursued while seeming esoteric, in the end, advanced our understanding of the world in a way that was very useful. In our day (says the man typing on a computer whose signals travel through the air to the device connected to the fiber optic cable) almost everything we interact with has been distilled and developed from basic, non-practical research. And the practical utility has sometimes been quite tangential. Nuclear medicine and theoretical physics comes to mind.

But as the frontiers of ignorance have been pushed back, the cost of mounting expeditions to the unknown have risen. And in these difficult economic times, it is very reasonable to wonder which areas of research are most likely to yield useful developments and to spend our money wisely. But as we discuss these things, remember that the goal is not to determine the one most important thing to which all of our money should be directed. But rather in what ratios they are to be distributed. This mission, at 76 million dollars, represents 1/4 of 1 percent of the 30.5 billion budget of the National Institute of Health. And to Ms. Concerned I say that if she doesn't want to spend the 23 cents per American that this mission cost I will spend 46 cents, and still give $10 to St. Judes.

There may be more spent on space than I think is appropriate at this time but I would have to think more carefully before I'd state that firmly.

answered by Guest | 10-10-2009 at 03:57 AM

Are you serious?
Listen, I know we're all concerned about priorities. But here's the thing: this money was just stripped from the government one day. The money came out of the money allotted to NASA within the Federal Budget. NASA's total yearly budget is $176B (that's only .55% of the total Federal Budget). To put it another way, out of every dollar the government spends (or wastes), only a nickle goes to NASA. This amount is 10 times less than the 5.5% it was during the ramp-up to the Apollo missions in 1966.

If you want to blame anyone, don't blame NASA who has helped us learn how to take care of our own environment by the use of satellites and space experiments, has helped us communicate around the world, and has also sought to get us insights into how we (mankind, the Earth, the solar system, the galaxy, and the universe) came to be. Put your blame on the government or yourself. I'm pretty sure that none of you who are complaining were writing to your state congressman when the budget was being tossed about explaining your position and letting them know what you think the priorities should be. We, as Americans, tend to forget that the government is "of the people, for the people, and by the people." Therefore, it our responsibility to make sure the government is acting in accordance with our beliefs by being active participants which we aren't (look at how many people turn out for the presidential vote.)

So before you go blasting NASA, take a look around, do some research, and then post a logical argument. Like it was said, the Moon has been hit by asteroids and meteors more immense and detrimental than an "empty rocket stage" (meaning it wasn't explosive.) That tiny rocket stage only produced a 60-100' wide hole by a 5,600mph impact - nothing dangerous to the Moon or to the Earth. Don't go posting hysterical rants, post well-reasoned concerns.

As for concerned mommy, I'm not minimizing what you say. It's true $79M could come in handy for medical research. All I'm saying is that you need to get involved with government and lobbyist groups in order to get funding toward the research programs you feel are more important. And don't forget, you can always contact your senators and representatives to let them know how you feel and they can walk away a little more informed and maybe a little more incentivized to lobby for your interests when government is in session.

answered by Guest | 12-06-2009 at 06:59 PM

The total scale of the LCROSS impact on the moon is almost unnoticeable, compared to some of the asteroids and things that hit it regularly. Compare it to shooting a brick wall with a bottle rocket, as apposed to a car. and considering all the things that NASA has done for the planet, I trust that this mission will have positive impacts on human life.

answered by Guest | 12-16-2011 at 04:43 PM

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