This morning it was cloudy here in Connecticut, so instead of bringing out the telescope I watched the live NASA feed of the moon impact.
There I was, eyes inches from my laptop screen staring intently just below the left dimple of the crater where the impact would occur. I felt like it was Christmas and I was six years old. But when the announcer stated that the first probe had hit the surface, there was visually no change in the image. I couldn’t see a thing! Did anyone else watch the live feed? Did anyone else see anything noteworthy?
Additionally, I was disappointed in the feed from the probe… granted… it’s a probe zinging towards the moon at epic speeds, every pound of equipment launched costs an additional $11,729*, and the moon is about 240,000 miles away… but this was a key moment for NASA! A huge amount of interest was generated in this project and the public demanded awesomeness! So… couldn’t we have got a better camera up there? I was expecting it to be at least close to Skype quality, but instead the refresh rate was about 1 image per second. Slowly zooming into GoogleMoon is actually more exciting.
Adding to the lack of quality was the paltry color of the moon, but I don’t blame this one on Nasa.
I was talking to Sander this morning and we noted how funny it is that, of the recent NASA missions, this one got so much press. In Sander’s words: “seriously? smashing a probe into the moon is the space equivalent of hitting the broad side of a barn.”