Moon has always been a mystery to people. NASA has always tried to solve the mystery of the Moon. However, more than 40 years after the last Apollo astronauts left the moon, now NASA is preparing a new spacecraft to launch today that will investigate Moon mystery.
The new spacecraft that NASA is preparing to launch is called Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE). The story behind making the spacecraft is really very interesting. SpacecraftCrews has reported that an odd glow on the lunar horizon has been seen before sunrise. The phenomenon, which prompted a notebook sketch by Apollo 17 Commander Eugene Cernan, was unexpected because the airless moon lacked atmosphere for reflecting sunlight. Therefore, scientists started to suspect that dust from the lunar surface was being electrically charged and somehow lofted off the ground. Now, NASA has decided to send LADEE to investigate the Moon anew.
LADEE will be equipped including a dust detector, a neutral mass spectrometer, and an ultraviolet-visible spectrometer, as well as a technology demonstration, a laser communications (lasercomm) terminal. The spacecraft will orbit around the Moon’s equator, and use instruments aboard the spacecraft to study the lunar exosphere and dust in the Moon’s vicinity. LADEE’s optical communications system will be tested before the probe drops into a low lunar orbit to begin its science mission about 60 days after launch. Here’s a video for you.
However, LADEE is scheduled to be launched at 11:27 p.m. EDT on Friday (0327 GMT Saturday) from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia. LADEE will take 30 days to reach to the moon. The mission costs $280 million.