You can listen to the Moon song at the NASA web site where it is performed by John Marmie, the deputy director, and his friend Jeff Petro. Marmie, who has written over a hundred songs, wants to inspire others. Growing up in the Appalachian foothills of the Ohio Valley, he was moved by the power of music. He says music not only entertains, but it opens social doors, and it allowed him to escape, and, more importantly, to dream.
Little did he dream that instead of a musical career in Nashville, after graduating from Ohio University with a Bachelors degree in electrical and computer engineering as well as a Masters in electrical engineering with a concentration in computational electromagnetics, he headed for NASA.
In California, his first project was working on the X-36, considered to be one of the first unmanned aerial vehicle and stealth aircraft designs. He worked on ARGUS and OPTIMA that developed instruments to sample tracer gasses in the atmosphere. Next. came the PSA (Personal Satellite Assistant) which was designed be a robotic astronaut assistant, a far smaller and less sophisticated cousin to R2 units in Star Wars. Then, he and others responded to a request for proposal, and landed the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS moon project.
Marmie’s idea for his song, Water on the Moon, came from a Walt Disney quote about curiosity moving people forward. His thinking, also, is very much in line with President Kennedy’s speech at Rice University in 1962 "If this capsule history of our progress teaches us anything, it is that man, in his quest for knowledge and progress, is determined and cannot be deterred." So LCROSS looks for water on the moon, and Marmie writes about it, saying in part:
"Signs are in the universe,
drifting out in space,
somewhere beyond the darkness,
lie the answers to the human race...
Curiosity will lead the way...
I wanna to go faster, faster,
hands in the air,
we’re gonna crash,searchin' for the answers,
like Galileo through his looking glass."
Oddly, the space vehicle IS programmed to crash, yes crash, into the moon’s surface. Why? To cause a cloud of debris that will be analyzed looking for water vapor, hydrocarbons, and hydrated materials. In other words, they are trying to find water on the moon. The on board instruments will provide mission scientists with multiple views of the flash of light and debris plume created by the Centaur impact scheduled for 9 Oct 2009. On Earth in certain areas, with a backyard telescope, you can join the scientists watching the crash,
You can also watch a QuickTime video, with captioned lyrics of Water on the Moon, along with information about the mission, and photos of outer space.
The mission is two fold: to find water and to find landing sites for the next man on the moon. Craig Tooley, LRO project manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland said, "NASA will use the data LRO collects to design the vehicles and systems for returning humans to the moon and selecting the landing sites that will be their destinations."
To accomplish that, a set of lasers will be bounced off the surface of the moon to make a detailed map of the moon’s topography, its lunar craters, hills and boulders. Cameras will take pictures that can resolve details less than one yard across.
LCROSS is carrying several specialized instruments [PDF download] . There are two near-infrared spectrometers, a visible light spectrometer, two mid-infrared cameras, two near-infrared cameras, a visible camera, and a visible radiometer.
Another instrument named Diviner from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory will make a temperature map of the moon, from the 370 degree Fahrenheit shadowed polar craters, to the equator with its 240 degrees resulting from the radiation of the sun.
You can follow LCROSS journey via Twitter or Facebook at the LCROSS Lunar Impactor Mission.