Hoping to confirm suspicions that there is water in the form frozen ice that could sustain life on the moon, NASA scientists crashed an LCROSS lunar probe into a moon crater last week.
According to space reporter and former NASA scientist Keith Cowing, ice would help astronauts generate water and maybe oxygen, which would help future space missions to the moon and might even allow people to live there.
Scientists had expected that the rocket would create a six-mile high stretch of bright dust but when the rocket hit the crater, it generated a less visually appearing mass of fog.
Skeptical journalists questioned whether the mission was a success but NASA scientists insisted that the rocket's impact provided them with streams of data for their investigation.
In this video, NewsHour correspondent Margaret Warner reports on the LCROSS lunar mission's impact and success.
"Now if there's water on the moon, a lot of water, you could use it to make fuel, water to drink, and air to breathe. And every bit -- it's kind of like the old trains going through the West. They would stop somewhere. And if they had to carry everything with them, they would have no room for passengers. And, if stuff is there, it makes it a lot easier and perhaps less expensive to send people to go to the moon and perhaps to stay there." - Keith Cowing, NASA Watch
"Exploration has its surprises in it. We need to go and carefully look at the images, you know, see what's in them. Certainly, what's streamed out to the video is not at the same fidelity as what we get fresh off the spacecraft." - Anthony Colaprete, NASA scientist
1. Why do governments spend money on space exploration?
2. Why do scientists want to find out whether there is water on the moon?
1. Do you think it is important to send humans back to the moon? Why or why not?
2. How could water sustain life on the moon? Would you like to live up there? Why or why not?
3. Projects like the LCROSS mission are very expensive. Do you think it is worth the cost to taxpayers?
4. What do you think will be possible, in terms of space travel, in your lifetime?
5. What do you think would be different about life on the moon?