REDONDO BEACH, Calif., June 15, 2009 -- The Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), built by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) for NASA Ames Research Center, is scheduled for launch on June 17 at approximately 4 p.m. EDT, from Launch Pad 41 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. LCROSS will be launched with NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter on an Atlas V rocket.
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LCROSS' mission is to impact the Moon in the search for water ice and hydrated materials. LCROSS was built as a secondary mission to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter for a total of $79 million and was available for acceptance in just 29 months.
Four days following launch, LCROSS will fly by the moon and enter a lunar gravity assist, lunar return orbit to position it for impact with its target at the lunar south pole. It will take about 113 days on-orbit to position LCROSS at the proper inclination to best view the debris plume at impact on October 8.
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