NASA's LADEE Probe Will Study Moon Dust

Posted on September 6, 2013

NASA LADEE Probe


NASA reports that its Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) probe is set to launch to launch at 11.27 p.m. EDT tonight. The rocket launches from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va.

The LADEE probe will take 30 days to get to the moon. It will then orbit the moon to study the lunar atmosphere to determine whether or not moon dust is being lofted into the air. An artist's concept of the LADEE spacecraft above the surface of the moon by Dana Berry is pictured below.

NASA LADEE Probe above lunar surface


Reuters reports that scientists suspect some of the moon dust is "being electrically charged and somehow lofted off the ground." Moon dust was described as being like talcum powder by Apollo astronauts. The moon dust stuck to their boots and equipment.

Photo: NASA
Image: NASA Ames / Dana Berry