[FPSPACE] FW: NASA Sets Sights on Lunar Dust Exploration Mission

LARRY KLAES ljk4 at msn.com
Wed Apr 9 15:55:59 EDT 2008

>From: NASA News <nasanews at mail.arc.nasa.gov>
>To: ames-releases at lists.arc.nasa.gov
>Subject: NASA Sets Sights on Lunar Dust Exploration Mission
>Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2008 12:40:45 -0700
>Deborah Robin Croft			April 9, 2008
>Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
>dcroft at mail.arc.nasa.gov
>RELEASE: 08- 29AR
>MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. -- NASA is preparing to send a small spacecraft to 
>the moon in 2011 to assess the lunar atmosphere and the nature of dust 
>lofted above the surface.
>Called the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), the 
>mission will launch before the agency's moon exploration activities 
>accelerate during the next decade. LADEE will gather detailed information 
>about conditions near the surface and environmental influences on lunar 
>dust. A thorough understanding of these influences will help researchers 
>understand how future exploration may shape the lunar environment and how 
>the environment may affect future explorers.
>"LADEE represents a low-cost approach to science missions, enabling faster 
>science return and more frequent missions," said Ames Director S. Pete 
>Worden. "These measurements will provide scientific insight into the lunar 
>environment, and give our explorers a clearer understanding of what they'll 
>be up against as they set up the first outpost and begin the process of 
>settling the solar system."
>LADEE is a cooperative effort with NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett 
>Field, Calif., Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and Marshall 
>Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The total cost of the spacecraft is 
>expected to be approximately $80 million.
>Ames will manage the mission, build the spacecraft and perform mission 
>operations. Goddard will perform environmental testing and launch vehicle 
>integration. The mission will be established within Marshall's newly 
>created Lunar Science Program Office. Marshall will draw upon experience 
>gained from managing a larger suite of low-cost, small satellite missions 
>through NASA's Discovery and New Frontiers Program.
>LADEE will fly to the moon as a secondary payload on the Discovery mission 
>called Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL), which is designed 
>to take ultra-precise gravity field measurements of the moon. Current plans 
>call for the GRAIL and LADEE spacecraft to launch together on a Delta II 
>rocket and separate after they are on a lunar trajectory.  LADEE will take 
>approximately four months to travel to the moon, then undergo a month-long 
>checkout phase and begin 100 days of science operations.
>LADEE is one of many activities to support lunar exploration planned by 
>NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Last year, NASA also 
>established a lunar science institute at Ames. Research teams will address 
>current topics in basic lunar science and possible astronomical, solar and 
>Earth science investigations that could be performed from the moon. In 
>addition, NASA is preparing for scientific investigations following the 
>planned launch later this year of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). 
>After a 30-year hiatus, LRO represents NASA's first step toward returning 
>humans to the moon.
>For more information on NASA and agency programs, visit:
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>subject line. Also, the NASA Ames News homepage at URL, 
>http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/index.html includes news releases and 
>JPEG images in AP Leaf Desk format minus embedded captions.

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