Probe Hits Moon South Pole Looking for Water

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WASHINGTON  -- NASA has successfully bulldozed two spacecraft into the moon's south pole in a search for hidden ice, but without the promised live photos.

First a 2.2-ton empty rocket hull smacked the moon's south pole at 7:31 a.m. EDT Friday. Then four minutes later the camera-and-instrument laden space probe made its death plunge.

The smaller probe had five cameras and four other scientific instruments and NASA had touted live photos on its web site. But those images didn't occur. NASA officials say they are sure the two probes crashed and looking to see what happened to the pictures. Pictures were live until seconds before impact.

The intentional crashes had been expected to kick up miles of lunar dust. The space probe is called LCROSS, short for Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite.

© 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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