LADEE Launch Information!

The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission is currently scheduled for launch on September 6 at 11:27 PM EDT (Sept 7 3:27 UT). There will be a four minute window for the launch that night. If, for any reason, the launch were to have to push to the following night, the window will open at September 7 11:26 PM EDT (Sept 8 3:26UT) and extend for 15 minutes. LADEE will launch from pad 0B at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility aboard an Orbital Sciences five-stage Minotaur V rocket. This will be the first launch beyond low Earth orbit from Wallops and the first flight of the Minotaur V rocket. Learn more at http://www.nasa.gov/ladee, http://moon.nasa.gov, and http://lunarscience.nasa.gov.

Artist's depiction of the LADEE spacecraft in orbit at the Moon. Image credit: NASA.

Artist’s depiction of the LADEE spacecraft in orbit at the Moon. Image credit: NASA.

As a night launch, there is a potential for very wide visibility of this launch. A previous night launch of a Minotaur I rocket from Wallops was visible from as far west as Detroit. Under ideal weather conditions, 60 percent of the US population could potentially observe the launch. There will be a public launch event at Wallops, and special exhibits will be available to the public there beginning September 4. A number of other locations will host launch viewings and/or events. Visit http://moon.nasa.gov/ladeelaunch.cfm for the latest information on these events as well as a range of associated resources including NASA’s New Moon Toolkit. The LADEE launch will have two separate programs on NASA TV channels. The NASA Edge launch broadcast will be on the Education/Public Channels (more color, less countdown); LADEE launch with traditional launch coverage/commentary will air on the Media Channel (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv).

Members of the public can become direct participants in the LADEE mission. Students in classrooms can track and monitor the spacecraft in flight, taking remote control of giant 34-meter deep space communications dishes through the GAVRT program (http://www.lewiscenter.org/gavrt). Amateur astronomers can make important ground-based science observations by participating in the Lunar Meteoroid Impact Observation Campaign (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LADEE/main/get-involved.html). Even if you do not have a telescope, you can make valuable scientific observations for the mission by participating in the Meteor Counting Campaign (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LADEE/main/get-involved.html).

Join NASA in the excitement and adventure of our continuing exploration of the Moon!

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