National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Missions
LADEE
Missions to the Moon
 By Target   By Name   By Decade 
Beyond Our Solar System Our Solar System Sun Mercury Venus Moon Earth Mars Dwarf Planets Dwarf Planets Dwarf Planets Asteroids Comets Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Kuiper Belt
 
 Past 
 Present 
 Future 
 Concepts 
LADEE
LADEE Mission to Earth's Moon

Goals: The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is designed to study the Moon's thin exosphere and the lunar dust environment. An "exosphere" is an atmosphere that is so thin and tenuous that molecules don't collide with each other. Studying the Moon's exosphere will help scientists understand other planetary bodies with exospheres too, like Mercury and some of Jupiter's bigger moons. The orbiter will determine the density, composition and temporal and spatial variability of the Moon's exosphere to help us understand where the species in the exosphere come from and the role of the solar wind, lunar surface and interior, and meteoric infall as sources. The mission will also examine the density and temporal and spatial variability of dust particles that may get lofted into the atmosphere.

The mission also will test several new technologies, including a modular spacecraft bus that may reduce the cost of future deep space missions and demonstrate two-way high rate laser communication for the first time from the Moon.

Accomplishments: During its primary mission, LADEE established a baseline of data for the tenuous lunar atmosphere, or exosphere, and dust impacts. The mission was given a 28-day extension in January 2014.


Moon - NASA's Lunar Portal
Key Dates
6 Sep 2013:  Launch (11:27 p.m. EDT)
6 Oct 2013:  Lunar Orbit Insertion
10 Nov 2013:  Science Mission Begins
4 Apr 2014 - 21 Apr 2014:  Lunar Impact (Estimated)
Status: In Flight
Fast Facts
LADEE Facts LADEE will help determine the impact of increased human activity on the Moon's thin exosphere.

Because the Moon's atmosphere is so thin, disturbances could quickly swamp its natural composition.

If scientists are ever to know the lunar atmosphere in a relatively natural state, now is the time to look.
Science & Technology Features
People Spotlight
Gregory Delory Gregory Delory
"I wasn't afraid to shoot for the moon -- both literally and figuratively -- you never know until you try or ask." Read More...
Headlines
Links
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 3 Feb 2014