Nasa’s lunar crater observation and sensing satellite (LCROSS) has successfully blasted a lunar crater to create a enough debris to collect data that could confirm the presence of water on moon.

The 113-day mission is designed to confirm the presence or absence of water ice in a permanently shadowed crater near a lunar polar region.

The LCROSS and its Centaur upper stage rocket separated about 54,000 miles above the surface of the moon and hit the lunar surface travelling at the speed of over 1.5 miles a second creating an impact observed by instruments aboard the LCROSS.

As the debris plume rises above the crater’s rim and is exposed to sunlight, any water-ice, hydrocarbons or organics will vaporise and break down into their basic components.

The hit was followed by a second impact by LCROSS itself.

The LCROSS science payload consisted of two near-infrared spectrometers, a visible light spectrometer, two mid-infrared cameras, two near-infrared cameras, a visible camera and a visible radiometer.

These visible and infrared spectrometers monitored the basic components, and infrared cameras will determine the total amount and distribution of water in the plume.

The visible camera tracked the impact location and the behaviour of the plume, while the visible radiometer measured the flash created by the Centaur impact.

Other observatories have captured both impacts, and the data will be shared with the LCROSS team for analysis.

It will take several weeks to determine the presence or absence of water ice on moon.