No joke. This is not an Onion headline. This coming Friday, October 9th, NASA is actually planning on bombing the moon in search for water. The missile, a Centaur rocket, will blast off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, aiming at the moon's South Pole. Scientists will then analyze the debris from the explosion for traces of water ice or vapor.
From Discover Magazine:
"Detecting that water is tough. Radar results have been inconclusive,with some people saying there's lots of water, and others sayingthere's none at all. By impacting a probe there, any ice located at theimpact site will be shot up above the lunar surface, where sunlightwill break it up into O+ and OH- molecules, which can be detected.Thus, LCROSS."
Wow. Taking the search for alternatives resources about...250,000 miles further.
Amazing simulation video of the LCROSS mission below. Catch the dramatic LCROSS mission live on NASA TV at 6:15 a.m. EDT/3:15 a.m. PDT on October 9, 2009.