After Apollo: Water on the Moon?

LCROSS, by NASA standards, is a low-cost mission, with a fixed budget of $79 million -- a good chunk of money, but remember that "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" grossed about $160 million in its first five days.

One can debate the merits of sending astronauts back to the moon (and you're invited to make a comment below), but if LCROSS finds water, it will make the lives of future astronauts much simpler.

"It's a pretty simple mission with profound implications," said Hunt, who is scheduled to be in charge at the key moment. He added that Oct. 9, impact day, is his birthday.

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