Moon probes to be 'blown apart' in Monday mountain crash
An artist's rendition of the twin GRAIL spacecraft.
December 13th, 2012
03:58 PM ET

Moon probes to be 'blown apart' in Monday mountain crash

By Elizabeth Landau, CNN

A pair of robotic twins that have been diligently mapping the moon this year will go out with a bang Monday, around 5:28 p.m. EST.

The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) probes Ebb and Flow will crash into a mountain on the moon Monday afternoon, ending a fruitful mission to study the surface and composition of the moon.

"Scientifically we are learning a great deal about not only the moon but about the early evolution of terrestrial planets," said principal investigator Maria Zuber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at a press conference Thursday.

Thanks to GRAIL, scientists now have the "highest-resolution gravity field map of any celestial body," NASA said. That means the probes have been making a high-quality map of the gravitational field of the moon, which give scientists unprecedented insight into what's below the surface and how the moon may have formed.

Results from this mission have delivered several other important findings, Zuber said. These include:

  • Evidence that the crust of the moon is much thinner than scientists believed.
  • Some of the large-impact basins dug into the moon's mantle, which is useful because scientists want to understand the moon's composition. It is believed that the composition of the Earth's mantle is similar to that of the moon.
  • The moon's crust is much more fractured than scientists thought.
  • It appears the crusts of planets have been bombarded in a similar way, including Mars. If there were water on Mars, as scientists believe there may have once been, where would it have gone? GRAIL, looking at the moon, provides a clue: "These fractures provide a pathway deep inside the planet, and it’s very easy to envision now how a possible ocean at the surface could have found its way deep into the crust of a planet," Zuber said.

Another major finding: Identifying large, lava-filled cracks (dykes) which are hundreds of miles long and exist about 6 miles below the surface. There's no record of them at the surface of the moon.

"These dykes actually provide evidence for early expansion of the moon shortly after it formed," Zuber said. "This had been predicted by models, but no evidence had been found."

The aluminum content in the moon's crust is similar to what's found on Earth, which supports the theory that the moon was born when a Mars-sized body slammed into Earth. That body and Earth mixed so well that material thrown off into the moon is indistinguishable from Earth material.

A side benefit of the GRAIL mission, Zuber said, is that scientists have improved their knowledge of the latitude-longitude grid of the moon.

"If there is a place where a future robotic or human mission wanted to land, you would be able to do that extremely precisely," Zuber said.

The spacecraft have performed "flawlessly," Zuber said, and it's all according to plan that they are running low on fuel.

After Friday, the science instruments on board will turn off. The probes are about the size of a washer and dryer that would be found in an apartment, scientists said.

The Ebb probe will crash at 5:28:40 p.m. EST Monday, followed by Flow about 20 seconds later. These impacts will happen in the dark.

"We are not expecting a big flash or a big explosion," Zuber said, adding that the impacts will likely not be visible from Earth.

Data collected by GRAIL between March and May has already been released; the rest will become available at the end of May 2013, scientists said.

Scientists took care to not crash the probes into historic sites where humans have previously landed probes on the moon. Right now, the likelihood of hitting one of those sites is eight in 1,000,000, said GRAIL project manager David Lehman of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

As for exactly what will happen to the successful twins on Monday, Lehman describes it like this:

"It's going to make a crater on the moon, and they're going to be completely blown apart at the time."

Post by:
Filed under: In Space • News • the Moon
soundoff (260 Responses)
  1. Is j being censored on CNN, multiple comments never posted par let's golf

    The exosphere is a layer above the thermosphere. Here's a funny one: lol

    What layer of Earth's atmosphere is the ISS In

    What layer of the atmosphere does the international space station ... answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid... The thermosphere is the biggest of all the layers of the earth's atmosphere directly above the ...

    February 5, 2013 at 12:49 am |
  2. dedektif bürosu

    Wow, superb weblog structure! How lengthy have you been running a blog for? you made running a blog look easy. The full glance of your web site is wonderful, let alone the content!

    December 22, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  3. Gabreille Lugo

    Is it true that three planets will aline?

    December 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  4. Gabreille Lugo

    Will the three planets aline 12/21/12?

    December 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  5. Ron Bennett

    By studying the moons surface with these probes scientist now say this about the moon and Mars, "These fractures provide a pathway deep inside the planet, and it’s very easy to envision now how a possible ocean at the surface could have found its way deep into the crust of a planet," Zuber said."

    Are we going to someday frac the moon and Mars for water by just adding steam. who knows we may find oil?

    December 17, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  6. bobonmycob

    Scientists were wrong about the crust on the moon? Science=experiments=theories. Keep on guessing and inching towards discovering new "facts" lol. I will continue to watch the science vs religion debate and laugh at you both for not understanding each other :D

    December 17, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  7. Ydnar

    Wonderful! We mapped out the moon and just crash the probes into the moon. Great job, don't need to clean up your mess or anything. I guess if these guys can't litter the earth, they will just do it in space instead.

    December 17, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Dood

      So true! I was thinking the same thing. So much for keeping it as contaminant free as we can.

      December 17, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Dutch Railroader

      Clean-up is exactly why the probes are being crashed into the moon. We don't want them to stay in orbit where they might interfere with future mission, nor do we want them to come down in some random place on the moon where they might damage a variety of sites of interest.

      December 17, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Marvin the Martian

      Hey, at least we get to make another crater on the Moon! Think of it as very expensive landscaping!

      December 17, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Tim

      When will people understand this is not litter. If you're concerned about littering the universe, think about this: There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on the Earth. Each galaxy has billions of stars with billions of planets, and the universe is home to billions of galaxies. To say that this is microscopic would be a enormous understatement.

      December 17, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
  8. cdub2k

    We can afford to put a probe on the moon but we can't afford to pay a teacher or a cop an honest wage.
    -U.S.A

    December 17, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Marvin the Martian

      We could if the teacher or cop were on the Moon!

      December 17, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  9. Zeus

    DO NOT LOOK TO THE STARS!
    THAT IS WHERE I LIVE!
    NOW GET BACK TO PRAISING ME!
    BOW! YIELD! KNEEL!

    December 17, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Ken

      almighty Zeus, with all due respect, put a cork in it !

      December 17, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Lex Luthor

      Hey, that's my line!

      December 17, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  10. FU

    Out of control probes a problem?

    Call it a "controlled" crash in the name of science...

    December 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  11. 1/125,000

    Does anyone else realize that the actual probability that a historical sight is destroyed is 1/125,000? I know that's still pretty low, but it still sounds like a large chance.

    December 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Shane

      One in a quarter million isn't anywhere close to a high chance, and compared to what could be learned from the crash, the risk is more than worth it.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Paul Hammer

      No, it's like the article said, 8 in a million. You can't divide the million by 8 and get your odds of 125,000 to one because statistics doesn't work that way. Same thing with the odds of winning the lottery. If you have 1 in a million odds by buying one ticket you don't have 1 in 500,000 by buying two.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
      • steverino

        acutually 8/1,000,000 divided by 8/8 (which equals one) is 1/125,000. Please know basic math before you try to correct someone.

        December 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
      • cdub2k

        Cyber Geek Fight.

        December 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
      • Mr Stats

        @ steverino... Please know your basic statistics before you correct someone. Getting odds isn't just a simple fraction simplification.

        December 17, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
      • svann

        Actually in this case its correct. 8 in a million IS 1 in 125k. That is how statistics work.

        December 17, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  12. Padmanabham

    Why crash them ? Just leave them where they are . The future explorations can either recover and put them to use or at least bring them to earth and keep it in a museum. Though its a tiny trash, why should we be the first to litter.

    December 17, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Pinche

      Pad, that isn't how it works.

      December 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  13. Luigi

    I think I was in 2nd grade when I learned the basics. Who, what, where why and how. Did I miss something or did this article not explain WHY they're crashing the probes????

    December 17, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Paul Hammer

      They crash due to orbit decay. They don't have the fuel to prevent it.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  14. Boom Boom Pow

    "It's going to make a crater on the moon, and they're going to be completely blown apart at the time."
    GRAIL project manager David Lehman of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

    It's the terms used by the GRAIL PM.

    December 17, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  15. 49Ner

    THERE'S GOLD IN THEM THERE MOUNTAINS. G-O-L-D!!!

    December 17, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  16. I Am God

    We need to put more money in NASA. Where do you think all these new technologies and new jobs came from? NASA has always helped in the job creation business. If we allow more money into NASA, then NASA will be able to help in the creation of new innovation. Heck we probably be able to have a better economy if NASA had more funding.

    December 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • VΞΠDΞTTΛ

      If Americans could pick and choose which departments their Federal Tax Dollars go to, you would see NASA's budget soar while the military's budget crumble.

      Shame NASA can't put on pledge drives, I would setup monthly donations. Although I would like to see NASA work with much lower budgets.

      Space X is building space components with a much, much smaller budget.

      and NASA has University's do alot of their exploration components for free and yet still spend ridiculous amounts of money.

      December 17, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
      • Shane

        NASA's budget is incredibly small.

        December 17, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • SteveDC

      I'm a huge proponent of space exploration and I want to see NASA grow, this story goes to prove instead how much money NASA wastes and how little they deserve more funding; I wish it didn't, but it does. These are 2 very well equipped, multi-million dollar machines, and NASA is destroying them willfully. Why not have sent them back towards the ISS, or shut them down early and kept them in perpetual orbit for later use. They're NASA, they're a collection of geniuses, they could have figured this one out. It bothers me to no end that they would so happily discard 10's to 100's of millions of taxpayer dollars. Shame on NASA.

      December 17, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
      • John

        There are no 'perpetual orbits" around the moon; due to perturbations any object orbiting the moon will eventually crash. They are almost out of fuel, so flying them back to earth is not an option. They have performed their mission, and now decision to crash them in a controlled location is an easy one as it avoids contaminating any possible locations for future scientific investigation.

        December 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
      • Tim

        That's like saying the Hubble Space Telescope should be used to find the composition of Jupiter's atmosphere. These probes are not designed to do anything else than what they have accomplished.

        December 17, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • RF Burns

      We're $16 trillion in debt, we need to fix that before we invent ways to put us deeper in the hole.

      December 17, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  17. Ron Bennett

    Are we going to someday frac the moon and Mars for water, just add steam?

    By studying the moons surface with these probes scientist now say this about the moon and Mars, "These fractures provide a pathway deep inside the planet, and it’s very easy to envision now how a possible ocean at the surface could have found its way deep into the crust of a planet," Zuber said."

    December 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • I Am God

      They never said the moon once had water, they are just comparing the cracks in the moon surface to the cracks on Mars, where there is a possibility that water on Mars went through the cracks on that planet.

      December 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
      • joe

        why did you make the cracks on Mars funnel water to the cracks on the moon?

        December 17, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  18. JP73

    David Lehman of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Read the article before you comment.

    December 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  19. Z_2k

    What a nit-picker you are. CNN is using the phrase phrase 'blown apart' implying 'utterly destroyed', and of course that will be the case. And yes, they will be blown apart upon impact, just as aircraft which impact the earth are often blown apart...with a debris field often strewn over sevel acres. Drop you from a plane, without a chute, and your head will likely be blown apart by the impact..like the pumkin that it is.

    December 17, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  20. Eric Bosell

    Why is CNN using the British spelling of the word "dike"?

    December 17, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  21. Emmy

    Why are we going to spend lots of money on satelites and then crash them into the moon? It's just a waste of time and money... why not reuse them for other things?

    December 17, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • snowboarder

      re-use them for other things? these are very specialized craft built for a single purpose.

      December 17, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • addison

      It is a shame to see food used one time and then just flushed away. Emmy when you develop and try some recipes to stop this wasted post it here with your opinion of how it tasted.

      December 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Dutch Railroader

      They have completed their mission. There is nothing to be gained with continued operation, nor can they be used for anything else. We got what we paid for.

      December 17, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Greg

      A) Reuse them for what?

      B) How do you expect to get them back to earth?

      December 17, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
  22. zlop

    Demon-Rats are smarter !

    December 16, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  23. Ken

    That's right. Pulverize the moon so there's nothing left when the Chinese get there. ;)

    December 15, 2012 at 1:48 am |
  24. danny

    why many scientist are very interested to the moon ? for what ? to study how to discorect the diatance to the earth ? measuring of distance of our planet to the sun can use the living life and the activation of vulcano

    December 14, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Lester

      WHAT???

      December 17, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Striker

      You win one internets.

      December 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
      • Dood

        LOL!!!!

        December 17, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • SkepticalOne

      I really hope English is not your first language because I have no idea what it is that you just tried to say.

      December 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
      • DAT

        I suspect his job is writing the instructions for cheap electronics made in China.

        December 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  25. amazedamerican

    We so need to get off this rock..... wish we could take the entire defence budget funnel it into NASA – Instead we are slashing and killing programs right and left. going by some of the comments here, science is a thing of the past in our schools.

    last sign left on the planet: we almost turned the corner...almost....

    December 14, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  26. d

    Its bad to pollute the environment like this, space is a very sensitive environment, and its just like humans to pollute everything in their path, such a worthless race that we are.

    December 14, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • yukka

      Please feel free to depart any time you wish.

      December 15, 2012 at 3:20 am |
    • Daremonai

      I highly suspect the post is a joke.

      December 17, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  27. Tim

    How stupid can people be? I don't think anyone understands the actual size of the universe let alone the solar system. You actually think we're going to litter? This is scary to see how stupid people are. And you're mad about tax dollars? Do you understand how much more money it would have been if you wanted them brought back to Earth? NASA has created countless things that people use in their every day lives. Please, go back to elementary school and learn basic facts about the universe.

    December 14, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • KINGTUT

      I think you had better be the one to go back to school. If anyone is stupid it is the guy who says 'the universie is too big for us to litter' and then turns the moon to kitty litter. Look at all of the thousands of pieces of man-made space junk that orbit around the earth, any one of which being capable of bringing a satellite or space station down with one hit. Space junk could even kill by rippking through the head of some poor spacewalking asttronauuts.But 'Space is too big for waaaaahhhhh i am a republican!!!" Hmmmm.... have you ever gone spacewalking? Regardless of the answer you may want to check your own head for holes.Something has clearly ripped through your cranium and it needs to be repaired. Along with your brain. Or replaced. But that WOULD cost money, either from your own private insurance plan, driving up the cost of yours and other policies (oh how awful... Capitalism done-in!!!). It could cost the government to pay for your head-hole repair, location and assessment/diagnosis of such holes (driving up your taxes). You surely would not wish to drive up our taxes or costs, let-alone your own. Well if need be and you wish to continune to propogate space junking, do what you will and drive... up yours!

      December 15, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
      • Tim

        you insulted me for 95% of that and had no logical thought

        December 15, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
      • Tim

        And I'm also an 18 year old college student, not a republican, and just aced my astronomy class and am an astronomy major. And they asked me to be an assistant next year. So no, I don't need to go back to school to learn about the universe, I think I know what I'm talking about.

        December 15, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
      • Amish Armada

        You don't live in the reality that this is taking place in, Tut.

        December 17, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
      • Shuffler

        It is ignorant to bring politics into this story. ust be Americans and you will be discusted with both dems and republicans. Both have their own agenda and neither are for the betterment of America.

        December 17, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  28. Calvin

    Fact: If you don't think space stuff is awesome, you're an idiot.

    December 14, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  29. Buck

    The International Fake Station is much more entertaining than crashing probes into the moon....

    http://www.fountainsofthegreatdeep.com/IFS.htm

    December 14, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  30. Mike H.

    Will this help lay to rest – once and for all – the theory that the core of the moon is hollow? inhabited by aliens?

    December 14, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • John Stone

      Sadly no this will not silence the conspiracy theorists. My prediction is they will claim all the NASA data is fixed in order to hide the fact that they are in league with the aliens who are living in the hollow moon !

      December 16, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Unbelievable

      What? You mean it is not made of cheese? What does the man eat then?

      December 17, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  31. Hollywood

    I love writers with IQ'S of 75.

    December 14, 2012 at 10:26 am |
  32. uzma007

    Leave the moon alone !!! since when anyone has the rights to bombard the moon when they wished. There should be some kind of international council regulating what and when something gets blown in space. All "they" talk about is much supposedly needed research and its unseen benefits but never once about pollution and junk they are creating in space. By the time we will be ready to inhabit space colonies....they will be full of space trash. (buy a residential unit on moon..BONUS get a gas mask for the entire family FREE).....YEAH RIGHT!

    December 14, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Abduhl

      I know who should be the first person left on the moon!

      December 14, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • lol

      Wow! Moon Huggers make Tree Huggers look fairly sane. Poor moon, I hope the wonderful cheese you're made of won't be tainted. :( Gromit would be sad.

      Seriously though, even if the stupid (only today matters) humans make this planet practically inhabitable – all for the love of money and comfort of course – it will still be a paradise compared to ever living on the moon and if we someday have to move to the moon, or feel the need to colonize it for whatever reason, a little bit of scattered probe parts will be nothing compared to the radiation they'll get from the sun...unless they plan on living on the dark side...and good luck with that. I've said before that making the moon a toxic landfill for all human wastes would be a more than ideal solution and would affect absolutely no one, or anything...ever. That said, we've done more damage to our own planet by simply making the computer used to reply to this blog to worry about the moon and how we are hurting it.

      Take that silly moon defenders.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:45 am |
      • MikeL

        Uhm, you DO realize there is no "Dark Side of the Moon" don't you? Pink Floyd notwithstanding. There is a 'far side' of the moon but it goes through day and night cycles just like the 'near side' does.

        December 14, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
      • USAUSA

        Umm. Actually there is a dark side of the moon at any given time.

        December 14, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
      • Amish Armada

        It's all dark.

        December 17, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Thomas A. Hawk

      The reason the spaceships are being crashed into the moon is to keep them from becoming space junk.

      So, you are both for and against space junk...at the same time? Odd...

      December 14, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Voice of reason

      Sorry, however more regulation is not the answer! The "Job creators" won't be able to create any jobs in the Moon. LOL

      December 14, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • USAUSA

      You are an idiot for writing that and an even bigger idiot for thinking it would be funny.

      December 14, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • sebastian

      You gotta be kidding! The moon has been bombarded for the last 4.5 billion years with "space junk" much larger than these washer dryer size objects that will be hitting the moon. The resulting trash will be indistinguishable from all the other meteors, comets, etc. that have hit the moon in the past. Let's get serious and stop worrying about such inconsequential nonsense.

      December 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  33. palintwit

    And on the seventh day god created nascar. For he knew that teabaggers would watch shiny little objects going around in circles.

    December 14, 2012 at 10:11 am |
  34. GG

    Did they get permission from the Obama administration to trash the moon?

    December 14, 2012 at 10:10 am |
  35. high pitch eric

    Why do hillbillies like Halloween so much?
    The love to pump kin

    December 14, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • palintwit

      Teabaggers love to boink their cousins every Sunday right after church.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:12 am |
  36. skyatimus

    When are they coming out with "Google Moon?"

    December 14, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • butthead

      uhh huhhh huhhh you said coming

      December 14, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • rosie

      LOL, good one. We can find the Starbucks much easier now.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • nope

      http://www.google.com/moon/

      December 14, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • VΞΠDΞTTΛ

      Download Google Earth

      It has Google Moon and Google Mars already on there.

      I figured everybody knew that by now????

      Old news

      December 17, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  37. Truth Gut Punch

    There is no room in space to let the garbage just float away, say, towards the sun. Yup. No room.

    December 14, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • rosie

      Hey that is a good idea. Maybe in the future we could round up all the space junk and push it towards the sun. It could work.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Adam

      Sending the probe back out of orbit would require a bunch of extra fuel that surely would have added a bunch of $$$$ to the cost of the mission. Wouldn't it be better to let it crash on a remote mountain than to spend a ton of extra money to send it far off into space?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:20 am |
      • Abduhl

        If space is weightless then can't you give it a small push in the direction of the Sun and expect to keep moving in that direction untill it crashes?

        December 14, 2012 at 10:37 am |
      • Dustin Goldsen

        Abduhl: No, it would take more energy than they have to get it out of lunar orbit then more energy to get it out of the earth's orbit then far more than that to slow it down enough to reach the sun.

        The craft in orbit may not have 'weight" but it has "mass" which means it needs energy to change its orbit.

        December 14, 2012 at 10:52 am |
      • highanddry

        test

        December 14, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Thomas A. Hawk

      They won't just float away. They would stay in orbit around the moon for a very long time if something wasn't done. Options include

      1. Flying into the sun.
      2. Flying back to earth and disintegrating in the atmosphere.
      3. Flying into the sun.

      Options 2 and 3 require a lot more fuel and money. The moon is relatively small but it does have gravity. (The mission measured gravity of the moon, after all.) It costs fuel to break orbit. The ships would still be in Earth's orbit and they would have to break from that to get to the sun. Bringing it back to Earth would require control so that they wouldn't end up as space junk orbiting Earth (as we have more than enough already).

      December 14, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  38. rad666

    Trash Earth, now trash the Moon?

    December 14, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • pbernasc

      yeah .. watch out ... we might get a fine from the intergalactic EPA

      December 14, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • rosie

      Like a holler is West Virginny the washer and dryer will be tossed onto the side of a mountain.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:19 am |
  39. todd

    at least this time they can actually say they landed on the moon. Why now they think the crust is really thin on the moon when we had people walking and driving lunar vehicles all over it in the 60's.

    December 14, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Wow

      A few questions:

      When they say "thin" what are you envisioning exactly? We're not talking eggshell here. It's differences in matter of degree. The deck of most bridges is extraordinarily thin compared to the planet that these bridges are on – yet, somehow, we don't go crashing through them. And that is not even what they are talking about in terms of "thin".

      What do you think is below this crust? A vacuum? Ocean? Cheese Soup? Here's the answer: It's more rock. Just mantle rock instead of crust rock.

      Even if it were nothing but cheese soup under that crust, the crust is rock. Go back up to the bridge analogy. Our bridges usually have nothing but air below them. Again, you don't go crashing through everytime you cross one with your car, right?

      I'm not even gong to try to address the absurd reassertion that we never went there. There is sooo much evidence that we did and no real evidence that we did not – everything that has been presented as "evidence" has been thouroughly debunked.

      Go read a book and learn somehting. I strongly recommend that you stay away from the Internet until you have learned how to think critically. There is a lot of garbage on this thing and it is harmful to people who cannot think clearly.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  40. Rocky

    I guess Lindsey Lohan works for NASA now?

    December 14, 2012 at 9:27 am |
  41. Jason

    Everyone grab shelter the Moon will split and come crashing into earth 4 days later on December 21st the end of the Mayan calendar. Muhahaha

    December 14, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Angry Aliens

      I heard that, because we plan on littering the moon, the inter-galactic litter patrol is planning on demolishing Earth on the 21st as punishment for violating the "Do Not Litter on Dead Worlds" act.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:42 am |
      • asdrel

        No, that's not the reason. It will be demolished to make way for an interstellar freeway. Time to stick our thumbs out and hope for a ride.

        December 14, 2012 at 10:49 am |
      • John Stone

        No no it was Moon paper scissors !!

        December 16, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  42. Lex

    How can they do this without an environmental impact? Who is looking out for the rights of the moon?

    December 14, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Really?

      Rocks don't have rights. And what "environmental impact" do you envision on the surface of a rock with no biosphere?

      Do I think we should just cover the moon in trash, no. But get a grip. Read a book. Learn something. Dropping this used equipment onto a completely dead rock with the same surface area as the landmass of Earth means nothing whatsoever to anyone or anything anywhere.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:37 am |
      • rosie

        People thought the same of clear cutting the yellow pine forests that covered much of the southern US.

        December 14, 2012 at 10:23 am |
      • Amish Armada

        Rosie, you don't live in the reality that this is happening in.

        December 17, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  43. Bester Festertester

    I guess it's better than a probe that blows apart in Uranus.

    December 14, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • skyatimus

      That would be very mercurial. Like having your hemorrhoids hit by an asteroid. They'd have to feed the victim intra-Venus-ly. (Sorry)

      December 14, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Keith

      awesome. someone managed to squeeze in a Uranus joke.

      December 14, 2012 at 11:10 am |
      • Owlie

        Actually, it was just a very juvenile comment. We'll never colonize the moon because too many people under 30 behave as if their IQ is the same as their shoe size. People who think saying "Uranus" is funny are perfectly content living in their parents' basement.

        December 14, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • weezer

      Owlie - there's always room for a Uranus joke in a space story. Well played, Bester.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  44. RC

    Thanks NASA for wasting our tax dollars and polluting the moon. I love science just as much as anyone but think that taking care of the Earth and it's people is the only priority that humans should have. I can't help but wonder how much we spend on space but then have sick and dying people who could have used that money to live. I'm sorry to say but I'm ashamed of the things our government does and we the people have no say whatsoever.

    December 14, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • PDT

      Ugh. Read my reply to JohnE below. This is the price of orbiting a science spacecraft around the moon. The satellites are running out of propellant, and the only responsible thing to do is crash it into a known location rather than have it crash randomly (and possibly into an Apollo site, etc).

      Yeah, it's too bad they can't have enough propellant to depart the moon's orbit altogether, but that would make their weight so much greater that the mission would have been unaffordable. But as the article states, each one is the size of a washing machine, and they'll litter a landmass of roughly the same area as the entire landmass of earth (without the oceans). Pretty small effect.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Really?

      Polluting? How does one "pollute" a rock that is completely free of a biosphere or ecology of any type?

      December 14, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • rosie

      You can run for office and have a say. Otherwise be quiet.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • asdrel

      If you feel you have no say does that mean you don't bother to vote?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • ....

      This is one of the dumbest things I've ever read. Every day you're affected by something NASA has created.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_spin-off_technologies

      December 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  45. w l jones

    Theirs nothing new here ......both earth and moon were made from Micro- organism same as all planets.

    December 14, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • Girlano

      And now , we are puting our technology garbage in another satellites and planets ! like mars !

      December 14, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Mike

      wut

      December 17, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  46. Hill Billy

    Why do rednecks like Halloween so much?
    They love to pump kin

    December 14, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • Petercha

      Stereotype much?

      December 14, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • rosie

      Had some experience with that have you Billy?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  47. Steve

    Why crash into the moon? We always tamper with things we have no business. Tweak nature like we know what we're doing. While I don't do the Azteca Calendar thing, one has to wonder wow, just a few days before that date and we're crashing something into the moon. Something which controls the gravity fields on the earth. Maybe we should go ahead and set off a nuke like we thought about years ago. Idiots, why would you even think of such a thing!

    December 14, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • boarddog

      Really? LOL! You hilarious!

      December 14, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • bfpiercelk

      holy crap are you retarded lol

      December 14, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Why do any science?

      Why do any science at all? Unless, could it be... that understanding our world and the solar system that surrounds it... IS our business.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Rocket Scientist

      So much here that's funny (in a sad way)...but, "Azteca calendar"? Man, if stupid were a fuel, you'd be a nuclear plant.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • rosie

      It was the MAYAN calendar by the way. You study things to learn how they work. SIGH.....

      December 14, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Really?

      Wow, the moon controls earth's gravity? If you believe that, that is truly sad. The moon is the cause for tides buddy.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • swh

      Steve, I am cleaning up the Dr Pepper I spewed out on my LCD that was so funny.... Cheers to you.

      December 17, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  48. Johnny 5

    They had better be careful with that. It could be full of giant hornets.

    December 14, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • rosie

      LOL, nice one. ;-))

      December 14, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  49. Alex

    We have found evidence of a higher intelligences garbage on Mars.

    December 14, 2012 at 7:58 am |
  50. JohnE

    This is incredible we have already left garbage on the moon... why add more.

    December 14, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • Ron Burgundy

      I'm pretty sure it's called science.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:59 am |
      • The one

        How about i take a dump on your lawn and call it a stool sample for your viewing pleasure science guy?

        December 14, 2012 at 8:40 am |
      • Why do any science?

        1) Taking a dump would fertilize the lawn, go ahead. You're certainly full of ... fertilizer.
        2) What trash? Did you read the article about the probes being destroyed completely? You're like the person who doesn't understand implosion and thinks buildings will blow up when they're demolished.

        December 14, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Ed

      I'm more concerned about the millions of my tax dollars NASA spent to build these probes just so some geek can get a kick out of blowing them up.

      December 14, 2012 at 8:03 am |
      • aGeek

        this geek thanks you for your contribution to science...er...fun

        December 14, 2012 at 9:22 am |
      • Really?

        Really man? YOUR millions of tax dollars? I'm sure you funded the entire program... sure.

        December 14, 2012 at 10:30 am |
      • ....

        im just going to keep posting this. This is what your tax dollars are "wasting." less than 1% of every tax dollar goes to NASA.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_spin-off_technologies

        December 14, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • PDT

      The answer is simple: the spacecraft are running out of propellant. If you let them run completely out, their orbits will decay and hit a random spot on the moon, including somewhere we might not want them to hit (like an Apollo historic site). Instead, you can make a controlled descent such that they have a much lower probability of hitting one of those sites.

      So, no, these people aren't stupid, and it's not "for fun". THAT'S why we're paying the project the money it gets. Have some confidence in smart people everyone.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • rosie

      Why? Because we can. To study the universe and understand it takes effort and demands that we do things in ways that we can with the technology at hand at the time. This is part of the mission. In a thousand years we may be able to do things differently but we are limited by our understanding of physics and technology.

      Oh wait, I am responding to a tin hat wearer. SIGH......

      December 14, 2012 at 10:34 am |
  51. Cheese

    And on the 8th day God made the moon of cheese. Why are we wasting money finding out what kind of cheese moon is made of.

    This has been a conservative response.

    December 14, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • peick

      Has anyone ever noticed how the liberals are the ones throwing out the insults, yet they blame the conservatives for being trolls? And people seem to buy it?

      December 14, 2012 at 8:03 am |
      • Doug

        Yep. Conservatives NEVER hurled insults or called other people names. Not in the past year. Not in the past 50 years. Conservatives are good, god fearing people who would never speak ill of anyone. Unless those people were libtards or some such non-sense. That's okay then.

        December 14, 2012 at 8:33 am |
      • p10leadman

        I just don't "get it". Why crash them into the Moon ? Why not just leave them in orbit?
        Oh yes one last thing "GEEK-O"...IF we actually went to the moon, and these TWO gizmos made high resolution photography of the suface :SHOW ME THE MOON ROVERS AND EQUIPMENT LEFT BEHIND...Or is it still at Warner Brother's Studios ?

        December 14, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • Petercha

      Hate much, Cheese?

      December 14, 2012 at 9:14 am |
  52. Serge Crespy

    The resulting explosions (20 seconds apart) may be to ignite a gas detected at this mountain location.

    December 14, 2012 at 7:39 am |
    • Thomas A. Hawk

      And if that gas is helium-3, it won't ignite.

      December 14, 2012 at 11:09 am |
  53. Dr. Evil

    Anyways, the key to this plan is the giant laser. It was invented by the noted cambridge physicist Dr. Parsons. Therefore, we shall call it the Alan Parsons Project.

    December 14, 2012 at 7:37 am |
    • MarkinFL

      You really bothered to post this? It wasn't even a groaner. Do that again and you get sent to the Dark Side of the Moon for the rest of the lunar cycle!

      December 14, 2012 at 7:42 am |
    • swh

      On the whole the Alan Parsons Project does feel good, lol

      December 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • texas5555

      I am more interested in where the lasers for my shark's heads are

      December 17, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  54. alpinequeen

    We don't want the North Koreans stealing our technology when they get to the moon.

    December 14, 2012 at 7:13 am |
    • MIke7

      I think thye HAVE to crash them, as the race of aliens on the back side of the moon do not want us up there

      December 14, 2012 at 7:41 am |
      • rosie

        The "back side of the moon"??? The moon revolves on it's axis and we can see all of it over a period of it's rotation and movement in space relative to our planet. Where did you learn about the moon? Marvin the Martian?

        December 14, 2012 at 10:41 am |
      • jimbo

        Rosie; it should be called the far side of the moon- because the way the moon orbits the earth we only see the same side of it. Google 'the moon' and you will learn that, and then be an adult and reply back to me and say that I was right and you were wrong.

        December 14, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  55. Moron Whisperer

    Let's just start dumping all of our trash on the moon.

    December 14, 2012 at 6:30 am |
    • rosie

      Uh Oh. Don't let WMI hear that kind of talk.......

      December 14, 2012 at 10:41 am |
  56. krehator

    Conspiracy theories?

    December 14, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • MarkinFL

      So far no one has come up with anything interesting. Just a few silly complaints about littering or something like that.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:30 am |
    • rosie

      The mountain is the site of a secret Soviet moon base that has been in existence since 1977. The US has finally discovered the exact location and these "research probes" have been waiting in orbit until the exact location was confirmed. Monday will put an end to a era of Soviet dominance on the moon.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  57. elpasotx

    Don't crash anything into the moon what the fudge is wrong with people...? And weed is illegal here still.... Lol

    December 13, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      We are going to need a lot more weed here to make these kind of story connections.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:24 am |
      • rosie

        I think weed clouded his thought process.

        December 14, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  58. jimbo

    Boo hoo hoo- 2 objects the size of a small washer and dryer crash into the moon- look at what has been learned from the the probes- To all the cry babies, why not do something to improve the earth. Leaving whining messeges here will not improve anything.

    December 13, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • Buck

      Your message is pretty whiny itself

      December 13, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
      • jimbo

        F.U. Buck

        December 14, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • Sammy

      Ha ha ha. Nice name JIMBO!

      December 14, 2012 at 7:24 am |
    • rosie

      Thank you for your interest in science. You may now go home and stay there. The other children do not like you and will not play with someone of your low intellect. My cat would pee on you but then again it does not usually pee on something dumber than cat litter.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  59. Scott

    Shouldn't they have scheduled this for the 21st?

    December 13, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
  60. Buck

    Anyone want to buy a Canon PowerShot A470 for $100 shipped?

    December 13, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • Canadaguy

      i do buck do you have paypal?

      December 13, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  61. Buck

    Some imposters on here man I wish I had an underage boy for my pleasure right now

    December 13, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
  62. Beachlife

    No biggie. It's only our tax money. Good going Government. Touch my S.S and I'll send you to the moon!!!!!!!

    December 13, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • ....

      once again, less than 1% of your tax dollar goes to NASA...and this is what you think they're wasting money on

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_spin-off_technologies

      December 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  63. BC

    I hope none of those scientists left an envelope with their name on it in that stuff.

    December 13, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • asdrel

      If they did Officer Obie will just have to go and get a bunch of 8×12 colored glossy photographs to be used as evidence.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:58 am |
      • texas5555

        But then how would we get the red VW microbus with shovels and rakes and implements of destruction up there to clean it up?

        December 17, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  64. Buck

    I just do not understand why people do not take me seriously....

    December 13, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • matthew

      Buck, sorry to tell you but if you're trying to be a comic then you're failing miserably and better do something else.
      Try smashing watermelons with a mallet in front of friends. You have zero joker talent.

      December 13, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
      • Buck

        Whatever kid if you are a male I will sleep with you

        December 13, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
  65. clown

    What happened to the breaking news a couple of weeks ago about Mars, not so breaking now, false alarm.

    December 13, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
  66. maxp0wer

    If you want to make a milk shake, you are going to have to kill a few cows.

    December 13, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Buck

      Fail!

      December 13, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Buck

      Now that's funny

      December 13, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  67. Neal Armstrong

    What? You didn't know? The government has been looking for a place to start a new land fill.

    December 13, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
  68. Buck

    Oh funny, someone posted a false comment using my name. How clever.

    December 13, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • chris

      idiots on here i tell ya

      December 13, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
      • Buck

        Yep some moron thinks he is funny. Maybe me and my life partner should teach him a lesson, bring him here and we will both blow a load in him together

        December 13, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Buck

      What, I am the original Buck, you imposter.

      December 13, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Ed

      Or maybe your multiple personalities are showing....?

      December 14, 2012 at 8:11 am |
  69. John S

    CNN breaking news folks: Syria and North Korea have joined forces and declared war on the United States...Now we dont need to worry about the moon because we wont be around to enjoy it. Good luck my fellow Americans, may god help us all.

    December 13, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Buck

      I seen that too this is unbelievable. World war 3 is about to happen

      December 13, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • nyman

      yep we are doomed now i was just watching cnn and seen they declared war on us i think bad things are about to happen and my family is scared to death...wouldve been fine if i didnt watch cnn

      December 13, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Oh dear, we are about to be attacked by ferocious gerbils? Head for the hills!

      December 14, 2012 at 7:27 am |
  70. Alex Botwell

    yep fire them for sure this is just plain stupid there is no excuse for this action theres always a plan b this is lazy lack of fuel is no excuse

    December 13, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  71. mdwesterngrl

    what is the moon? is it a planet somewhere i dont understand what this is about

    December 13, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  72. Rob

    I do agree this is a bad idea but they are out of fuel. Of course they planned to crash them on the moon for years now they just didnt tell the general public. Now Earth is a terrorist not just the people here. Ha! Yeah like they are going to fire the morons behind this ingenious plan, they should but it wont happen they are too afraid to take proper action. Lets face it people, Earth has blown it we are responsible for the death of the universe.

    December 13, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Buck

      Last I heard, there was no life on the moon. So how exactly is this a bad plan?

      December 13, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
      • Rob

        Just because there is no life on the moon doesnt mean this wont effect our world. Theres no life on the sun does that mean its ok to cover it with water? This is a part of history, a big mistake thats just my personal opinion

        December 13, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
      • Buck

        Sorry I was being sarcastic, this is a bad idea and I think the person or people responsible for this should be condemned to die.

        December 13, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
      • Buck

        Ok, based on your last comment you must be joking. No one can be that stupid. Thanks for the humor though.

        December 13, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      This has GOT to be a troll. Please, tell me it is a troll. Please.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:28 am |
  73. homer j simpson

    doh! we are a bad society. first the moon then where? I agree with you guys on the firing of the man with the bad plan. this is bad news for the future...dont just protect our planet(which we have failed to do) but protect the universe

    December 13, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  74. Bill

    And yes I like small children in the bedsheets

    December 13, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  75. N.Korea

    Is the president of the world ok with this, Barack? We want to rid the world of nukes as well so why not send them to the moon? This calls for a resignation, I call a formal protest.

    December 13, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • mdwesterngrl

      your crazy is showing....

      December 13, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  76. Bill

    Are you people seriously getting all upset that they are "trashing the moon" here?

    December 13, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      If so then we have identified a much larger problem. Idiocy is spreading like a virus. I really hope that this is just a local troll outbreak. That would be a much lower grade of foolishness than actually worrying about a few hundred pounds of scrap metal on the moon.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:39 am |
  77. GOD

    I CONDEMN THIS, THIS WILL CONTINUE TO HAPPEN FOR YEARS TO COME AND EVENTUALLY THE MOON WILL BE NO MORE. SURE ITS A SMALL ORDEAL NOW BUT YEARS FROM NOW IT WILL DESTROY US ALL. YES FIRE THEM ALL THIS IS UNPROFESSIONAL

    December 13, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  78. CBC

    I agree to the firing of the man responsible for that decision. Moron

    December 13, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
  79. Quadg

    Look at the images that ebb and flow produced. The moon’s surface is a history of billions of impact craters, untouched by erosion.
    You won’t even be able to find ebb and flows craters. Even with a map.
    worse than a needle in a haystack.

    December 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  80. ex nasa suit

    bad idea you will see in due time the moon will fill up and our solar system will just die this angers me and i too agree fire the genius who thought this up

    December 13, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
  81. Captain M. Smith

    Woah, did I read that right? Now we are trashing the moon...not cool. I agree fire the person responsible for this.

    December 13, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  82. george w bin laden

    this is disgusting. we have already ruined our planet so now we are going to dump garbage on the moon too. whoever is in charge of this should be fired! if we keep doing this for 100 or even 1000 years the moon will be full of our trash. this can not be real what kind of morons are in charge of this? the sun is a better dump site than our precious moon, atleast the sun will burn it up but the moon? really? our childrens children dont deserve to have to suffer for our mistakes and this turns me off from my interest in the universe. this is in no way a reasonable solution, crash them here in the ocean...atleast we can clean it up and its more responsible. fire the morons behind this immediately!

    December 13, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      :) funny rant. Almost sounds serious.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:31 am |
  83. Enemy

    Spend thrift NASA .. Send the probes to another Body to map .

    December 13, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Outoffuel

      Missed the part about being out of fuel didnt you?

      December 13, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • uptrade

      They are out of fuel, they cannot be sent anywhere.

      December 13, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
      • ESSO

        get up there and refuel them or bring them back here. nothing is impossible

        December 13, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
      • MarkinFL

        Yeah, we'll just multiply the cost of this program by several dozen times and waste 10 times the resources in doing so. Seems sensible to me.

        December 14, 2012 at 7:32 am |
  84. Enemy

    Many Moons after The Demise of Earth ( 12/21/12 ) Alien life will label Man as The One who scattered His Junk across the Universe .

    December 13, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • george w bin laden

      well said and much appreciated i hope someone will listen.

      December 13, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
      • Joshua Harvey

        yeap...because we all know those NASA guys hang out here and read these comments. BTW...."across the universe"? We haven't even successfully gotten anything out of the solar system, much less the galaxy....and you're talking about the universe? Oy vey.....

        December 13, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
      • Grim Jim

        Look up the Voyager probes Joshua they made it beyond the solar system and if the original Star Trek movie is true, they will be returning to threaten Earth a few centuries from now...

        December 14, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      some guys get a reputation for spreading their junk all over town. NASA gets the universe? IMPRESSIVE!

      December 14, 2012 at 7:34 am |
  85. CSM

    What is the point of adding space junk to the moon, Mars or any other place?!?! It should be crashed to Earth and collected then recycled!!!!!!

    December 13, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • rosie

      You really have no clue do you?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  86. Alien from Alfa Centuria

    Why not soft land them so we can come out of our hidden base on the far side of your moon so we can study the probes to see exactly what you earthlings were planning all along.

    December 13, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  87. Xunco

    Send this satellites to the Sun or so on..........why keep trash on the Moon. Did we not leave already trash with the Apollo's mission??

    December 13, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Well paid scientist

      Just send up a fuel tanker so they can get out of lunar orbit then fall out of solar orbit

      December 13, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
      • Ca Ed

        What about the tanker?

        Why not call AAA and have them towed to a garage.
        Isn't that why you pay them? (other than not having to go to the DMV offices?)

        December 13, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  88. altfuels

    Nature dumps literally thousands of times as much junk on the moon every year, in the form of meteorites, as the mass of these probes. The moon won't notice a fraction of one percent more. As for placing them in a more stable "parking orbit," that would have required that they carry far more fuel than they did, probably rendering the mission unaffordable. In addition, spacecraft operators already worry about collisions of "parked" satellites with active ones in Earth orbit; no need to start building up such an orbital "wrecker's yard," or more like "shooting gallery," around the moon! The best option is a "controlled deorbit," ensuring the probes don't hit historic sites on the surface and aren't left in orbit to hit other satellites; this is exactly what NASA is doing.

    December 13, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Stop it already. You may as well argue the merits of Calvinism with a Catholic. This is not a forum for rational, logical exposition.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:36 am |
  89. cpc65

    100 years from now a futuristic version of Fred Sanford will be selling the scrap metal out of his lunar junkyard.

    December 13, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • macinator1177

      LOL

      December 13, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • alurker

      Heathen!

      December 13, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Dwayne

      And his name will be Adam Quark...

      December 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  90. Ralph Lake

    Couldn't they be left in orbit or moved to a more stable one. Seems a shame to drop all that alien material on a somewhat pristine moon. The buggies up there don't bother me quite as much though that too looks like the beginning of a wrecker's yard. I guess this is how that process begins.

    December 13, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Uncle Stumpy

      I heard that once they've got a big enough pile of junk on the Moon, they're gonna rename it "Upper Bridgeport, CT."

      December 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • CBC

      They are out of fuel so no,they can't be moved to a more stable orbit. Dead satellites are also a continuous hazard for any other active satellites, manned or unmanned so it's better to crash them now. Not really any different than a couple of meteor strikes, which already happens often on the moon.

      December 13, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Reason

      Comments about spoiling a pristine Moon always make me wonder about how illogical people can be.

      The Moon ain't nothing but a rock. I big rock floating in space. It has no atmosphere, no ecosystem. It's only features are millions of impact craters from other rocks that have struck it over the course of billions of years. Two tiny probes are going to crash into this giant, barren rock, and people are aghast. If we wanted to, we could set off dozens of nuclear explosions to study surface, and it would not matter one iota.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  91. Packoderm

    Great. Way to trash it up.

    December 13, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • rosie

      NASA is now run by hillbillies. They are used to leaving trash on mountain sides, especially old appliances.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:49 am |
      • Large

        You really know a lot about these hillbillies don't you? From experience, I presume.

        December 17, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  92. Fred Flinstone

    Starting a new dump pad???

    December 13, 2012 at 4:49 pm |

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