Success marked NASA'S space record, yet again, a bit after 5:30 AM MDT, 9 October, 2009. 40 years after the world watched American astronauts wave at us while standing in moon dust, we've again - raised a bit more moon dust...twice, in a matter of minutes. NASA says we're checking for water, which over recent years - through many avenues, seems to be present in the polar regions, deep in dark craters. Safe from searing solar rays, it may hide intact in its frigid and undisturbed state.
I have to admit, it was a bit eerie, watching the last few seconds of video from the second craft as it approached the lunar surface at thousands of miles per second. Felt a little odd to be cheering...the demise of something so special, that made it so far - exactly as programmed.
But the end justified the means - we hope. If lunar water exists in any marked amount, our ability to use the moon in space travel will be more feasible; water is used not only for obvious reasons (thirst), but for fuel and insulation against solar damage.
Though a bit different from her earthly home, Nature prevails, thousands of miles into cold, dark, space.