MEET LADEE: Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer
Meet Ladee is a spacecraft that is designed, tested, developed and built at the research center of NASA’s AMES. The research center is located at the Silicon Valley. This is known as the robotic mission that is expected to orbit the moon. As part of its mission, it provides unparalleled information that concerns the lunar environment. It is also expected to provide scientists a knowledge and understanding of the planetary bodies found in the solar system.
By the time that Apollo Program is introduced, astronauts have noticed a quite mysterious sunrise on the horizon of the moon. This is an electrically charged that is created by the sunlight and could be the reason for the glow seen in the horizon.
As the atmosphere of the earth is composed of nitrogen and oxygen; astronomers still have no idea on the compositions of the atmosphere of the moon. Actually, the atmosphere of the moon is a lot thinner as compared to the atmosphere of the earth.
Purpose of Lunar Exploration
Ladee is expected to dip in the lunar atmosphere. This helps scientists to better understand the little planetary bodies that are located in the solar system. These planetary bodies may look like Deimos and Phobos that are the moons of mars. There may be planet bodies and large asteroids that can be found.
As per the duration of the mission, it is expected that Ladee will have to travel for about one-hundred sixty days. The thirty days will be spent on travelling to the moon; thirty days on lunar orbiting phase. As for the last part is focused on the scientific operations; the time is divided accordingly to get the optimum research of the atmosphere.
Actually, Ladee has its weight composition of eight hundred forty four pounds. This is also powered and operated by two-hundred ninety five watts. It is also recalled that the spacecraft has its length that is the same with the little car. The spacecraft is really fantastic to look at, especially because it is powered by sixty watt light bulbs. You can just imagine how luminous the spacecraft is.
A Modular Designed Spacecraft
Ladee is considered as a revolutionized spacecraft system. This is sometimes called as the modular common spacecraft bus.
In regard with the manufacture and assembly of the spacecraft, modular components are included to avoid the expensive cost of its custom design. The design has introduced its parallel assembly that allow for synchronized testing and development of modules. It significantly shortens the time between launch and design.
More so, Ladee is considered as the first-ever mission to launch in the moon of Minotaur V. This is believed to be a dispensable launch vehicle from America. The research center of NASA’s AMES is responsible in managing and operating the mission of the spacecraft. After its launch, it is expected that they will perform their mission operations. It is also expected to provide a lot of information about the lunar environment which can be useful for future purposes!