Historic moonshot to launch from the U.S. east coast friday night

This Friday night on September 6th, NASA heads “back to the Moon,” and millions of residents along the U.S. Eastern seaboard will get to watch the show. LADEE, NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, launches from Wallops Island Virginia facility of September 6th, 11:27PM EDT (3:27 Universal time on the morning of the 7th).

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LADEE Ready for Launch

In an attempt to answer prevailing questions about our moon, NASA is making final preparations to launch a probe at 11:27 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 6, from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va. The small car-sized Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is a robotic mission that will orbit the moon to gather detailed information about the structure and composition of the thin lunar atmosphere and determine whether dust is being lofted into the lunar sky. A thorough understanding of these characteristics of our nearest celestial neighbor will help researchers understand other bodies in the solar system, such as large asteroids, Mercury, and the moons of outer planets. For more information about the LADEE mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ladee. Image Credit: NASA

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Space landmark


ESTEC personnel stroll past a life-size model of ESA’s ERS-1 Earth observation satellite, located near the establishment’s entrance. Launched back in 1991, this pioneering European radar mission is only one of dozens developed here.

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Space landmark


ESTEC personnel stroll past a life-size model of ESA’s ERS-1 Earth observation satellite, located near the establishment’s entrance. Launched back in 1991, this pioneering European radar mission is only one of dozens developed here.

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Space landmark


ESTEC personnel stroll past a life-size model of ESA’s ERS-1 Earth observation satellite, located near the establishment’s entrance. Launched back in 1991, this pioneering European radar mission is only one of dozens developed here.

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Becquerel Crater wind blown sediments

Prominent patches of wind-blown dust, possibly mixed with volcanic ash, radiate from Becquerel crater and into a neighbouring crater. The streak of dust following a radial path likely traces out a gentle topographic depression, beyond the eroded rim of the neighbouring old crater.

The prevailing wind direction is towards the bottom right of the image in this orientation, in the direction of the tail-like features emanating from the tiny craters.  Although small, the crater rims influence wind flow over the crater such that the material immediately downwind of the crater remains undisturbed in comparison to the surrounding plains.

Becquerel crater and its immediate surrounds were imaged during four orbits of Mars Express around the Red Planet: on 22 July 2006 (orbit 3253), and 26 February, 2 and 7 March 2008, corresponding to orbits 5332, 5350 and 5368, respectively. Becquerel crater lies within Arabia Terra, at about 22°N/352°E.

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