NASA prepares for first Virginia coast launch to Moon

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Credit: NASA Ames / Eric JamesNASA is preparing to launch a spacecraft from its Wallops Flight Facility on Sept. 6. The mission will be NASA's first launch to the moon from the Virginia coast.

The small, car-sized Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is a robotic mission that will orbit the moon to collect information about the structure and composition of the thin lunar atmosphere and determine whether dust is being lofted into the lunar sky. An understanding of these characteristics will help researchers understand other bodies in the solar system, such as large asteroids, Mercury and the moons of outer planets.

The LADEE Mission is expected to last approximately 160 days (30 days to travel to the moon; 30 days for checkout and 100 days for science operations), according to NASA’s website.

For more information on the mission, visit

Photo Credit: NASA Ames / Eric James

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