Twin NASA Spacecraft Prepare to Crash Into Moon
After nearly a year circling the moon, NASA’s Ebb and Flow will meet their demise when they crash — on purpose — into the lunar surface.
Just don’t expect to see celestial fireworks. Next week’s impact near the moon’s north pole by the washing machine-sized spacecraft won’t carve a gaping crater or kick up a lot of debris. And it’ll be dark when it happens.
”We are not expecting a big flash or a big explosion” that will be visible from Earth, said mission chief scientist Maria Zuber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Still, it’ll mark a violent end to a successful mission that has produced the most high-resolution gravity maps of Earth’s closest neighbor. On Friday, engineers will turn off the science instruments in preparation for Monday’s finale.