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Days before its crash, LADEE saw zodiacal light above the lunar horizon

Emily Lakdawalla • April 23, 2014

LADEE ended its mission as planned with a crash into the lunar surface on April 17. Just days prior, it turned its star tracker camera toward the lunar horizon and captured a striking series of images of the lunar sunrise and zodiacal light.

NASA's LADEE Spacecraft to Fly Through an Eclipse, Crash into the Lunar Surface on April 21st

Casey Dreier • April 04, 2014

LADEE, NASA's latest robotic lunar spacecraft, will reach its planned end-of-mission on April 21st, when it will crash on the far side of the Moon.

Snapshots of Science from the 2014 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

Emily Lakdawalla • March 25, 2014

Vignettes from dozens of LPSC talks: GRAIL and LADEE at the Moon; ice and craters and conglomerates and organics and gullies on Mars; polar deposits and volatile elements on Mercury; tectonics on Enceladus; and more, until my brain was so full I could barely speak.

An extended mission for LADEE

Emily Lakdawalla • February 03, 2014

The LADEE team has managed their fuel frugally enough to permit a one-month mission extension; they now plan to impact the Moon on or around April 21, 2014.

LADEE spotted by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter!

Emily Lakdawalla • January 29, 2014

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has managed to snap a photo of the other current lunar orbiter, LADEE, at the Moon.

Video: Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration sends Bill Nye over the Moon

Emily Lakdawalla • January 21, 2014

In this fun video, the Planetary Society worked with LADEE Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration team to communicate live over their lunar link.

What's up in planetary missions in 2014

Emily Lakdawalla • December 31, 2013

With the New Year upon us, what can we look forward to in 2014? For me, the main event of 2014 is that ESA's Rosetta mission finally -- finally! -- catches up to the comet it has been chasing for a decade. We will lose LADEE, gain two Mars orbiters, and launch Hayabusa2. The year begins with an amazing 24 spacecraft exploring or cruising toward various planetary destinations.

Chang'e 3 and LADEE updates: Yutu active again, LADEE didn't detect landing

Emily Lakdawalla • December 20, 2013

Chinese state television broadcast a display of a Chang'e 3 lander image; the Yutu rover is awake; and LADEE reports a surprising non-detection of the Chang'e 3 landing.

Chang'e 3 and LADEE updates -- and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, too, for good measure

Emily Lakdawalla • December 05, 2013

Chang'e 3 is just about to land on the Moon, and the LADEE orbiter has begun a new science mission there, while Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is still producing amazing images.

Chang'e 3 may launch December 1 with Yutu rover, will not harm LADEE mission

Emily Lakdawalla • November 27, 2013

Yesterday the Chinese space agency held a press briefing about the Chang'e 3 lunar lander. They announced that the rover has been named Yutu (or "Jade Rabbit," a legendary companion of the goddess Chang'e). Although it will land during the LADEE mission, it will not harm LADEE's goals -- quite the opposite, in fact.

ARTEMIS Mission Update

Jasper S. Halekas • November 14, 2013

ARTEMIS is a mission that retasked two probes from the 5-spacecraft Heliophysics constellation THEMIS to study the interaction of the Moon with the space plasma environment.

Congratulations to LADEE on arrival at the Moon!

Emily Lakdawalla • October 06, 2013

After a one-month journey from Earth to the Moon, NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) safely entered orbit at 10:57 UTC today, October 6.

LADEE has finally left Earth

Emily Lakdawalla • October 02, 2013

When LADEE launched on September 6, it launched into Earth orbit. Today, it is finally on a path that will take it to its October 6 lunar orbit insertion. Its operation is continuing normally in the face of the U.S. government's shutdown yesterday, as is that of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

LADEE checkout phase successfully completed!

Emily Lakdawalla • September 13, 2013

Some good news to start your weekend: the newest member of our deep-space fleet, LADEE, has successfully completed its checkout phase and is now officially in its cruise phase. It is still in Earth orbit, headed for Lunar Orbit Insertion on Sunday, October 6.

Go LADEE!

Mat Kaplan • September 10, 2013

Listen to or watch the recording of our live celebration for LADEE as the spacecraft blasted off for the moon.

LADEE safely on its way to moon

Jason Davis • September 07, 2013

The LADEE spacecraft lifted off at 11:27 p.m. EDT on Sept. 6 from Pad 0B at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va.

Watch LADEE Launch to the Moon with The Planetary Society

Mat Kaplan • September 06, 2013

Starting at 7:30pm PDT/10:30pm EDT, we will webcast a special event around the launch of NASA's next lunar spacecraft. Watch our special coverage with lunar scientists and live video from the launch site, as well as NASA TV footage of the launch itself.

LADEE prelaunch facts

Emily Lakdawalla • September 05, 2013

I glean all the important facts about NASA's next Moon mission from their prelaunch press kit. Launch is scheduled for September 6, 2013 at 8:27 p.m. PDT (September 7 at 03:27 UTC).

LADEE prepares for launch

Emily Lakdawalla • August 22, 2013

LADEE's launch window opens two weeks from today, on September 6. The brief little mission aims to study the lunar atmosphere and dust environment before future soft landings disturb its currently pristine state.

Launch is coming! LADEE arrives at Wallops

Emily Lakdawalla • June 06, 2013

It's a big day for any space mission: the shipping of the spacecraft from its assembly facility to its launch facility. That happened for the next lunar mission, LADEE, on June 4, 2013.

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