Project Image
Related Research Areas
Diagnostics, Verification and Validation

Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer is a robotic mission in lunar orbit to gather detailed information about our moon's atmosphere, conditions near the surface and environmental influences on lunar dust. A thorough understanding of these characteristics will address long-standing unknowns, and help scientists understand other planetary bodies as well. LADEE has three science instruments and one technology demonstration onboard.

The LADEE spacecraft launched on a Minotaur V vehicle on Sept. 6, 2013. LADEE executed a series of phasing orbits around the Earth. The spacecraft approached the moon from its leading edge, travel behind the moon out of sight of the Earth, and then re-emerged and executed a three-minute Lunar Orbit Insertion propulsion burn. This placed LADEE in an elliptical, retrograde, equatorial orbit with an orbital period of about 24 hours. A series of maneuvers then reduced the orbit altitude to 156-mile (250-kilometer).

The 100-day Science Phase occurred at an orbit that varied between 20–60 kilometers due to the moon’s “lumpy” gravity field. During the Science Phase, the moon rotated more than three times underneath the LADEE orbit.

A decommissioning phase will follow the Science Phase during which LADEE will decrease altitude and eventually impact the lunar surface.

NASA's Ames Research Center designed, developed, built and tested the spacecraft and operated the 100-day science mission.


Add New Comment

Popular Resources

Nothing to see here at the moment. Check back later.


Started: Dec 23, 2013

Last Activity: Dec 23, 2013

1 members

What can I do on this project?
  • Any registered users can join
  • Anybody can view this project
  • Any registered users can leave comments
  • Anybody can view comments

Need help?

Visit our help center