Two unmanned NASA spacecraft are heading for the moon to crash into a lunar crater in a search for ice.
If all goes well, the impact will be beamed back live to Earth.
The first and much bigger crash is set for 7:31 a.m. EDT. That's when an empty rocket that weighs 2.2 tons should hit the crater Cabeus and create a minicrater about half the size of an Olympic pool. It should kick up a plume of lunar debris about six miles high.
The idea is to confirm the theory that water — a key resource if people are going to go back to the moon — is hidden below the barren moonscape.
Meanwhile, for more than a century, the idea of Earthlings taking a swipe at the moon has permeated popular culture. The most enduring image is from the 1902 classic movie, "A Trip to the Moon," in which a bullet-like rocket wincingly lodges in the eye of the man in the moon.
Novelist Amy Ephron doesn't understand the hoopla surrounding NASA's moon crash and wondered whether the public would be as excited about the mission if a country like Iran were in charge.
Ephron created a "Help Save the Moon" Twitter campaign — part tongue-in-cheek and part serious — to prevent future lunar dustups and to start a debate about who owns the moon.
"I really am a pacifist. I don't like the idea of sending a missile to Afghanistan or to Iraq or to the moon," said Ephron, while stressing that she's not against space exploration.
The General Staff noted that the document appeared at a time when Russia was trying to deter the arms race unleashed by the United States