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Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.

An extended mission for LADEE

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.

What's up in planetary missions in 2014

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.

ARTEMIS Mission Update

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.

LADEE has finally left Earth

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!

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!

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

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

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

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

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

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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