Sunday, July 14, 2013

NASA's LADEE - Newest Mission to the Moon

Hey Space Placers!

NASA's newest mission to the Moon - the Lunar Atmosphere Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is getting closer to her September 5th launch date from Wallops Island, VA.

The LADEE spacecraft awaits spin balance testing, conducted to ensure stability during flight, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia July 10.
LADEE at WALLOPS CLean Room  - NASA Patrick Black
LADEE is designed to answer questions about the Moon's extremely tenuous atmosphere which is believed to be made up of dust. Apollo 12 astronauts reported seeing evidence of an atmosphere while in lunar orbit and there is thought to be interaction with the Moon's dust and the transition from night and day. Impact events are also thought to send dust into the lunar sky and contribute to the creation of the atmosphere.

We need to learn more about this aspect of the Moon to complete our understanding of the lunar environment, of which lunar dust is a very major factor.

The spacecraft was successfully shipped by truck from NASA Ames in California to NASA Wallops Island and is undergoing final testing.

The night time launch from Wallops will be aboard a solid fuel Air Force Minotaur rocket and will be the first planetary mission launched from Wallops.

Read More About It:

I will have more on LADEE as we get closer to launch.

Read More About It:

Sky Guy in VA

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