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UPDATE on LADEE Mission:

“NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft has impacted the Moon, capping an extremely successful operational mission. Science analysis will continue for months, as the science teams churn through the data and write papers about their findings. So LADEE is gone, but its science legacy lives on!

LADEE ran its science instruments almost non-stop right up to impact the evening of April 17, 2014, in an effort to gather as much low-altitude data as possible. Further study of the returned data will reveal what the instruments saw at these amazingly low orbits, just a few kilometers above the surface. Early results suggest that LADEE was low enough to see some new things, including increased dust density and possibly new atmospheric species. In an incredible race with time, LADEE’s Real Time Operations team queued and downloaded all science files just minutes prior to LADEE’s impact.” Read More On NASA’s website by clicking here

 

(Past News) On September 6th 2013 LADEE was launched into orbit.

There was a great write up in the Washington Post:

“LADEE – or the Lunar Atmosphere Dust Environment Explorer – will orbit Earth then cruise to the moon, where it will gather data on the lunar atmosphere and to see whether dust is lofted into moon’s sky.

This style rocket – the five-stage Minotaur V – has been in the news before, as you may recall it as a Peacekeeper missile. In its current civilian configuration, by Orbital Sciences Corp., this mission will become the first to launch beyond Earth from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

Find a good view of the south-southeastern horizon so you can see above buildings and trees. Apartment balconies, higher ground and parking decks should suffice. Just after launch, the rocket will speed into orbit around the Earth.  For the Washington area, NASA says, expect to see the initial stages about 13 degrees above the horizon.” {read more here}

Watch The Launch Courtesy of NASA TV:

 

 

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