Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer

Studied lunar dust to learn more about the Moon

The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) was designed to characterize the tenuous lunar atmosphere and dust environment from orbit. LADEE had two scientific objectives: Determine the global density, composition, and time variability of the fragile lunar atmosphere before it is perturbed by further human activity; Determine the size, charge, and spatial distribution of electrostatically transported dust grains and assess their likely effects on lunar exploration and lunar-based astronomy.

Mission Class:

Larger Missions

Mission Status:


LASP Roles:


Science Target:

Moon (Earth's)

Mission Focus:

Lunar Surface

Launch Date: September 6, 2013
Prime Mission: 100 days of science operations
Planned impact on lunar surface: April 17, 2014

Lead Institution: NASA’s Ames Research Center 

Lead Funding Agency: NASA’s Science Mission Directorate

Partners: NASA Ames Research Center, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center