NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lunar Prospector spacecraft launch. Lunar prospector spacecraft being launched on top of the Trans Lunar Injection Module, from Cape Canaveral (now Kennedy Space Centre), Florida, USA on 7 January 1998. The spacecraft spent 19 months orbiting the Moon. It mapped the surface composition of the Moon, looked for polar ice deposits, and took measurements of the Moon's magnetic and gravitational fields. On 31 July 1999, the Lunar Prospector was deliberately crashed into the Moon near its South Pole, in an unsuccessful attempt to detect water ice deposits.
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