Results tagged “LADEE”

On Friday, Sept. 6, NASA is scheduled to launch a small satellite mission, called the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), which will orbit the moon to gather detailed information about its atmosphere and the role of dust in the lunar sky.

In an attempt to answer prevailing questions about our moon, NASA is making final preparations to launch a probe at 11:27 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 6, from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va.

NASA's LADEE Goes for a Spin

During preparations for NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) observatory launch on Sept. 6, 2013, the spacecraft went through final preparations and close-outs, which included checking alignment after its cross-country shipment, checking the propulsion system for leaks, inspecting and repairing solar panels, and final electrical tests. After these activities were completed, more challenging portions of the launch preparations began: spin testing and fueling.

Back in the 60s and 70s, Apollo astronauts circling the Moon saw something that still puzzles researchers today. About 10 seconds before lunar sunrise or lunar sunset, pale luminous streamers would pop up over the gray horizon. These "twilight rays" were witnessed by crewmembers of Apollo 8, 10, 15 and 17.

When NASA's Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) begins operation aboard the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission managed by NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., it will attempt to show two-way laser communication beyond Earth is possible, expanding the possibility of transmitting huge amounts of data. This new ability could one day allow for 3-D High Definition video transmissions in deep space to become routine.

In an attempt to answer prevailing questions about our moon, NASA is making final preparations to launch a probe, the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), at 11:27 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va.

LADEE - Going Back to the Moon

A model of the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft is seen in the foreground during a LADEE mission briefing at NASA Headquarters, Thursday, August 22, 2013 in Washington.

An advanced laser system offering vastly faster data speeds is now ready for linking with spacecraft beyond our planet following a series of crucial ground tests. Later this year, ESA's observatory in Spain will use the laser to communicate with a NASA Moon orbiter.

Teams from ESA and NASA worked during the week of 19 July 2013 at a Zurich, Switzerland, facility owned by ESA's industrial partner RUAG to conduct compatibility testing between the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) moon orbiter terminal and the ESA ground station terminal.

The NASA Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) arrived today at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility to begin final processing for its trip to the moon later this year.

LADEE Update

Technicians at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., install a heater cage around NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) observatory sitting in the base of the thermal-vacuum chamber, in order to simulate the hot and cold extremes the observatory will experience during the mission.

Why LADEE Matters

Earth's atmosphere is critically important to all of us. In addition to providing us with air to breathe, it protects us from temperature extremes, harmful space radiation, and vast numbers of incoming meteoroids. The atmosphere is a very complex system that we are only beginning to understand. Gaining a better understanding of the atmosphere, how it protects us, and how we can protect it is in all of our interests.

A new NASA-developed, laser-based space communication system will enable higher rates of satellite communications similar in capability to high-speed fiber optic networks on Earth. The space terminal for the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD), NASA's first high-data-rate laser communication system, was recently integrated onto the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

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