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Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Artwork of NASA's LRO approaching the moon (top right). The LRO will stay in lunar orbit for at least one Earth year, mapping the surface, surveying resources and identifying possible landing sites for manned missions. At this stage the LRO is still carrying its secondary payload, the lunar crater observation and sensing satellite (LCROSS). This instrument will descend to the moon's surface where it will search for water in a permanently shadowed crater at the Moon’s South Pole. The LRO was launched on 18th June 2009 and entered lunar orbit on 23rd June 2009.
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