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Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

LASP instrument ready for the Moon

July 17, 2013

Artist depiction of LADEE

NASA’s Lunar and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is set to launch in Fall of 2013. LADEE is a robotic mission developed to help characterize both the lunar atmosphere and lunar dust environment. With an approximate mission duration of 160 days, LADEE will gather details about the density, composition, and time variability of the lunar atmosphere as well as the size, charge, and spatial distribution of electrically charged dust grains also present in the lunar environment.

On board LADEE is a slew of instrumentation including the Lunar Dust EXperiment (LDEX). LDEX was designed and built by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) and CCLDAS under the direction of the Principal Investigator, Dr. Mihály Horányi. LDEX will help constrain the physical characteristics of lunar dust, giving insight into observed lunar phenomena and astronaut safety concerns. More information on LADEE and LDEX can be found here.

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