Sunday, September 08, 2013

The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer

LADEE Launches on Mission to the Moon
Minotaur V rocket that will launch NASA's LADEE mission
Image credit: NASA Wallops/Chris Perry
In an attempt to answer prevailing questions about our moon, NASA launched a probe at 11:27 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 6, from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility at Wallops Island, Va. The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is a robotic mission, managed by NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., that will orbit the moon to gather detailed information about the structure and composition of the thin lunar atmosphere and determine whether dust is being lofted into the lunar sky. A thorough understanding of these characteristics of our nearest celestial neighbor will help researchers understand other bodies in the solar system, such as large asteroids, Mercury, and the moons of outer planets.
Get the latest news from NASA's LADEE website.