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NASA to crash into the moon -- on purpose (VIDEO)

NASA goes all Pink Floyd in final mission, sends probes smashing into dark side of the moon.

Shackleton crater resizeEnlarge
NASA may have spotted ice in the Moon's Shackleton crater after using reflective light to illuminate the surface. (NASA/GSFC/SVS /Courtesy)

NASA is going to crash into the moon to see what's under the lunar crust in a spectacular final space sendoff, NASA officials said today, according to Reuters.

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Two NASA probes, known as Ebb and Flow, will smash into the moon surface at the end of their one-year mission on Monday, reported Britain's Register

"They're going to be completely blown apart," probe project manager David Lehman told reporters from California, according to Reuters.

The moon mission is out of fuel, so NASA decided to finish things off by way of a "controlled descent," said Britain's SKY News

Scientists will control the impact of the "washing machine-sized probes" as they hurtle into the moon surface, said SKY, monitoring them carefully to "avoid the risk of obliterating Neil Armstrong's footsteps on the moon."

Maria Zuber, a leading investigator for NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (Grail) mission, will miss Ebb and Flow.

"It is going to be difficult to say goodbye," she said, adding: "Our little robotic twins have been exemplary members of the Grail family, and planetary science has advanced in a major way because of their contributions," according to SKY.  The crash will not be visible, as it will take place on the dark side of the moon. 

Here's the projected last flight animated video from NASA: 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/121214/nasa-crash-the-moon-purpose-video