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Photos: NASA's LADEE Moon Dust Mission In Pictures

LADEE and the Moon Artist's Concept

NASA Ames/Dana Berry

This is an artist's depiction of NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) observatory in space with the moon in the distance. Image released July 23, 2013.

LADEE Awaits Spin Balance Testing

NASA

The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft awaits spin balance testing, conducted to ensure stability during flight, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia July 10. LADEE is a robotic mission that will orbit the moon to gather detailed information about the lunar atmosphere, conditions near the surface and environmental influences on lunar dust. The Ames Research Center-led mission is scheduled to launch from Wallops Sept. 6, 2013, marking the first deep space mission to launch from Wallops as well as the first-ever Minotaur V launch. Image released July 18, 2013.

LADEE Thermal Vacuum Preparation

NASA Ames/Dana Berry

Technicians at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., install a heater cage around NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) observatory sitting in the base of the thermal-vacuum chamber, in order to simulate the hot and cold extremes the observatory will experience during the mission.

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