NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, or LADEE, has arrived the moon’s orbit.
LADEE was launched on September 6 aboard a small rocket. In the next two weeks, LADEE will be in a stable position to remain in the lunar orbit with the help of moon’s gravity.
According to mission managers, before reaching the lunar orbit, the LADEE spacecraft made three elliptical orbits around the Earth moving higher in position until it moved to the moon’s gravity.
It will be about 155 miles above the lunar surface by Oct. 12 that is the time for the third scheduled probe’s burn.
This would be the ideal place to study the gases surrounding the moon, to investigate the extremely thin atmosphere of moon and to search the electrically charged dust rising from the ground.
“It’s a class of atmosphere we actually don’t know that much about, so it turns out that the moon actually is a really convenient place to go and learn about this very common type of atmosphere,” Sarah Noble, LADEE program scientist, said before the probe’s Sept. 6 launch.
NASA’s New Moon Probe Enters Lunar Orbit – Space (http://www.space.com/23102-nasa-moon-probe-ladee-lunar-orbit.html)
NASA’s new moon probe settles into lunar orbit – Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/07/us-space-moonprobe-idUSBRE9960ZR20131007)