Washington, Sep 4 (): NASA prepares to launch an unmanned mission to the Moon on September 6, Friday night at 11:27 p.m from the greater Washington metropolitan area. The flight will be launched from an area near to Wallops Island on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
LADEE – is a robotic mission that will be launched aboard a five-stage Minotaur V rocket. The mission marks the first flight for the five-stage rocket. Besides, it will be the first deep-space mission ever launched from the Goddard Space Flight Center’s Wallops Island launch facility, on the Virgina coast.
The $280 million mission, dubbed LADEE for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, aims to analyse a feeble lunar atmosphere as well as to solve the mystery of the glowing horizon.
It will orbit Earth for three weeks. During this period of three weeks, LADEE will be picking up and analysing samples from the lunar atmosphere and beaming data back to Earth – before self-destructing in an intentional crash landing on the lunar surface.
The spacecraft will undertake a 30-day-voyage to reach Moon. Once reaching the Moon, it will spend a 30-day period to test its on-board equipment and then proceed on a 100-day observation of lunar dust and the water molecules that constitute the Moon’s extremely thin atmosphere.
This mission has been initiated by Nasa Ames scientists. This low-cost spacecraft is the first ever such designed, built, incorporated, developed, and tested at NASA Ames, based at Moffett Field in Mountain View, California.
LADEE mission has to answer a 41-year old mystery, one that was sketched out in December of 1972 from inside the command module of Apollo 17 as it orbited the dark side of the moon. The information gathered with this mission will prove to be highly essential as it will be useful for future lunar explorers.
The LADEE spacecraft will also search for water in the very thin lunar atmosphere, which is estimated to be 1/100,000th the density of Earth’s, perhaps similar to Mercury’s.