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Photos: NASA's LADEE Moon Dust Mission In Pictures

LADEE Spacecraft Prepared for Encapsulation

NASA Wallops/Terry Zaperach

Engineers at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia prepare to encapsulate the LADEE spacecraft into the fairing of the Minotaur V launch vehicle nose-cone.

LADEE Spacecraft Encapsulated in Minotaur V Launch Vehicle Nose-Cone

NASA Wallops/Terry Zaperach

Engineers at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia encapsulate NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft into the fairing of the Minotaur V launch vehicle nose-cone.

LADEE Spacecraft and Full Minotaur V Launch Vehicle Stack

NASA Ames/Zion Young

NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft sits in the nose-cone at the top of the full Minotaur V launch vehicle stack.

NASA LADEE Moon Mission Art

NASA

An artist's illustration of NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer mission (LADEE).

LADEE Moon Mission Prepared on Launch Pad

NASA Photo/Patrick Black

Preparations are underway for the LADEE launch on September 6, 2013, from NASA'S Wallops Flight Facility, VA.

LADEE Above the Lunar Surface Artist's Concept

NASA Ames / Dana Berry

An artist's concept of NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft seen orbiting near the surface of the moon.

Humorous Road Signs at Wallops Flight Facility

NASA's Wallops Flight Facility (via Facebook)

NASA'S Wallops Flight Facility posted this image on Facebook, August 8, 2013. They wrote: "Awesome new sign on Wallops Island. Two missions in September: to the moon with LADEE from Launch Pad 0B and to the International Space Station with Antares from Launch Pad 0A."

New NASA Spacecraft to Probe Moon Dust

NASA

Future explorers of the Moon must deal with a variety of lunar environmental issues, including surface electrification of dust. Another factor is the ever-present, sharp, abrasive, glassy dust of the lunar soil.

LADEE Spacecraft

NASA/Ames

A computer-generated model of the LADEE spacecraft.

LADEE Readies for Orbital Maneuvering Thruster Burn Artist's Concept

NASA Ames/Dana Berry

An artist's concept of NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft orbiting the moon and preparing to fire its maneuvering thrusters to maintain a safe orbital altitude. Image released August 15, 2013.

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