NASA Ames' Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is a robotic mission that will orbit the moon to gather detailed information about the lunar atmosphere, conditions near the surface and environmental influences on lunar dust. LADEE is scheduled to launch from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Sept. 6, 2013.
After the science phase of the mission is complete and the spacecraft has exhausted its fuel supply, flight controllers will program a controlled descent to the lunar surface. This will allow scientists to measure the density and properties of the lunar dust until just a few feet above the lunar surface.
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