Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Space Travel News .




MOON DAILY
NASA Spacecraft Begins Collecting Lunar Atmosphere Data
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Nov 25, 2013


File image.

NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is ready to begin collecting science data about the moon. On Nov. 20, the spacecraft successfully entered its planned orbit around the moon's equator -- a unique position allowing the small probe to make frequent passes from lunar day to lunar night.

This will provide a full scope of the changes and processes occurring within the moon's tenuous atmosphere.

LADEE now orbits the moon about every two hours at an altitude of eight to 37 miles (12-60 kilometers) above the moon's surface. For about 100 days, the spacecraft will 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 the characteristics of our lunar neighbor will help researchers understand other small bodies in the solar system, such as asteroids, Mercury, and the moons of outer planets," said Sarah Noble, LADEE program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

Scientists also will be able to study the conditions in the atmosphere during lunar sunrise and sunset, where previous crewed and robotic missions detected a mysterious glow of rays and streamers reaching high into the lunar sky.

On Nov. 20, flight controllers in the LADEE Mission Operations Center at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., confirmed LADEE performed a crucial burn of its orbit control system to lower the spacecraft into its optimal position to enable science collection. Mission managers will continuously monitor the spacecraft's altitude and make adjustments as necessary.

"Due to the lumpiness of the moon's gravitational field, LADEE's orbit requires significant maintenance activity with maneuvers taking place as often as every three to five days, or as infrequently as once every two weeks," said Butler Hine, LADEE project manager at Ames.

"LADEE will perform regular orbital maintenance maneuvers to keep the spacecraft's altitude within a safe range above the surface that maximizes the science return."

In addition to science instruments, the spacecraft carried the Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration, NASA's first high-data-rate laser communication system. It is designed to enable satellite communication at rates similar to those of high-speed fiber optic networks on Earth. The system was tested successfully during the commissioning phase of the mission, while LADEE was still at a higher altitude.

LADEE was launched Sept. 6 on a U.S. Air Force Minotaur V, an excess ballistic missile converted into a space launch vehicle and operated by Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va. LADEE is the first spacecraft designed, developed, built, integrated and tested at Ames. It also was the first probe launched beyond Earth orbit from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on the Virginia coast.

.


Related Links
LADEE at NASA
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Lunar Dreams and more






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





MOON DAILY
Rediscovered Apollo data gives first measure of how fast Moon dust piles up
Crawley, Australia (SPX) Nov 22, 2013
When Neil Armstrong took humanity's first otherworldly steps in 1969, he didn't know what a nuisance the lunar soil beneath his feet would prove to be. The scratchy dust clung to everything it touched, causing scientific instruments to overheat and, for Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt, a sort of lunar dust hay fever. The annoying particles even prompted a scientific experiment to figure out ... read more


MOON DAILY
Spaceflight Deploys Planet Labs' Dove 3 Spacecraft from the Dnepr

Arianespace orders ten new Vega launchers from ELV

NASA Commercial Crew Partner SpaceX Achieves Milestone in Safety Review

ASTRA 5B lands in French Guiana for its upcoming Ariane 5 flight

MOON DAILY
Winter Means Less Power for Solar Panels

Unusual greenhouse gases may have raised ancient Martian temperature

How Habitable Is Mars? A New View of the Viking Experiments

Rover Team Working to Diagnose Electrical Issue

MOON DAILY
NASA Spacecraft Begins Collecting Lunar Atmosphere Data

Big Boost for China's Moon Lander

Rediscovered Apollo data gives first measure of how fast Moon dust piles up

NASA's GRAIL Mission Puts a New Face on the Moon

MOON DAILY
The Sounds of New Horizons

On the Path to Pluto, 5 AU and Closing

SwRI study finds that Pluto satellites' orbital ballet may hint of long-ago collisions

Archival Hubble Images Reveal Neptune's "Lost" Inner Moon

MOON DAILY
NASA Kepler Results Usher in a New Era of Astronomy

Astronomers answer key question: How common are habitable planets?

One in five Sun-like stars may have Earth-like planets

Mystery World Baffles Astronomers

MOON DAILY
XCOR and ULA Achieve Major Milestone With Liquid Hydrogen Engine

Wind Tunnel Testing Used to Understand the Unsteady Side of Aerodynamics

NASA and Sweden to test High Performance Green Propulsion technology

Russia Mulls Development of New Super-Heavy Carrier Rocket

MOON DAILY
China shows off moon rover model before space launch

China providing space training

China launches experimental satellite Shijian-16

China Moon Rover A New Opportunity To Explore Our Nearest Neighbor

MOON DAILY
Physicist's journey reveals smaller asteroids could cause bigger problems

NASA, Planetary Resources Sign Agreement to Crowdsource Asteroid Detection

Comet ISON, hype aside, is an intriguing cosmic visitor

Scientists find that Mars, not Earth, shakes up some near-Earth asteroids




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement