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LADEE Launch coming up

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is scheduled to launch at 11:27 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 6. Backup launch days are Sept. 7-10. LADEE is a robotic mission 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 Mercury, outer planet moons and larger asteroids.

LADEE will launch from the Mid Atlantic Regional Spaceport's (MARS) Pad 0B on a U.S. Air Force Minotaur V rocket, an excess ballistic missile converted in to a space launch vehicle and operated by Orbital. This will be the first flight of the Minotaur V and the first launch beyond Earth orbit from Wallops.

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