After Curiosity, Now a Robotic Explorer for Moon

LADEE ready for launch

Image Credit: Flickr user NASA Goddard Photo and Video, via CC

NASA has launched another explorer to the moon. This time it is not a human explorer aboard another of NASA’s Apollo mission, but a robotic explorer named LADEE, more on the lines of Mars explorer curiosity.

The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, LADEE (pronounced “LA’-dee) is about the size of a small car and weighs about 400 Kilograms. It is expected to reach the moon on October 6. LADEE is travelling aboard an unmanned Minotaur rocket and will take about a month’s time to reach the moon. This is unlike other Apollo mission flights that have reached Moon in about three days.

Through LADEE scientists want to get a better insight into the atmosphere of the moon and how it might change over time. The $280 million mission is expected to last six months.

Will LADEE return after six months? No. Dysfunctional LADEE will make moon its home and  will never see the face of Earth again.


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