The lunar reconnaissance orbiter (LRO) and the lunar crater observation and sensing satellite (LCROSS) will be launched on 17 June 2009 to gather useful data on the moon.

This Nasa satellite duo will map the lunar surface gathering information on moon’s topography, lighting conditions, temperature changes, mineralogical composition and natural resources to prepare for manned missions in future.

LRO will help identify safe landing sites and lunar outposts, locate potential resources, track the moon’s radiation environment and test new technology using a package of seven equipments.

LCROSS aims to look for the presence of water ice at the permanently shadowed areas at the lunar poles.

The mission will include two impacts on the moon by the rocket and the LCROSS satellite will convey back the data about the effects of the impact.

The satellites’ launch aboard the Atlas V rocket was initially planned for 24 April 2009.