Project M is a JSC Engineering Directorate led mission to put a lander on the moon with a robot within a 1,000 days starting Jan 1., 2010.Why? From Air & Space Smithsonian
When will Project M begin? Next month? Next year? No, Project M has been “go” since Monday, November 9th.
Five weeks ago a crater from the LCROSS impact formed on the Moon. The pre-impact build-up had been sensational, but the actual event was largely invisible to observers on Earth. It was a different story on the Moon. The slowly growing impact ejecta curtain threw water ice particles and vapor far out into space. When the crater formed, flying ice particles could have refracted the glare of unfiltered sunlight into an “ice rainbow,” similar to those seen through very high altitude clouds on Earth. For a very brief time, a rainbow might have been visible to an observer standing on the lunar surface. And like its namesake, this rainbow is a promise – a promise that the Moon is habitable. It is an invitation to humanity to extend man’s domain to our nearest planetary neighbor.It means that apart from (possibly) a Gamma Burster, we as a species will survive. There is another place, apart from Earth, where we can live. It has the chemicals. It has the (solar) power. We can make subterranean habitats, and apart from any long-term physiological problems due to low gravity, we can live there, grow and expand. Even a low-gravity problem can be solved with centrifuges with slightly canted floors. Ones a kilometer in diameter wouldn't have to spin very fast, and could be built as large underground railways with carriages the size of large rooms on tilted tracks, moving at a constant speed.
The LCROSS science team’s initial analysis of ejected impact plume data found evidence for water. It appears that several other species, particularly some carbon substances also found in the cores of comets, may be present. The new results suggest that some lunar polar volatiles may have their origins from outside the Moon, deposited there over millions of years by the impact of comets and asteroids.
(Hmmmm... I wonder if that idea's worth a patent... haven't seen it in any SF literature....)
It means that a dinosaur-killer only has a few centuries at most to get us.