National

Oct 9, 2009 9:39 AM by Associated Press

Moonstruck: NASA probes hit moon looking for water, pictures coming

NASA crashed two probes into moon's south pole this morning in a search for hidden ice. But the live pictures of the impact and the six-mile-long plume of lunar dust that had been expected didn't come. The images showed the moon getting close, but cut out before any plume could be seen.

Instruments confirm the empty rocket smashed into the moon as planned, followed four minutes later by a probe equipped with cameras. At the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, people arrived before dawn to watch it all.

A telescope demonstrator there called the show "anticlimactic," saying he was hoping to see "a flash or a flare."

NASA is promising the pictures will be added to its Web site. But so far, the images are still said to be "on the way in."

NASA is trying to confirm a theory that water is hidden below the barren lunar surface. That would be a key resource if people go back to the moon.

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