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NASA prepares to launch probe Friday

LADEE ready for launch (NASA)

LADEE ready for launch (NASA)


Digital writers
theweathernetwork.com

Friday, September 6, 2013, 1:28 PM -

In an attempt to answer prevailing questions about our moon, NASA is preparing to launch a probe Friday night. 

To make sure that the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment (LADEE) spacecraft is perfectly balanced for flight, engineers mount it onto a spin table and rotate it at high speeds, approximately one revolution per second. (NASA Ames)

To make sure that the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment (LADEE) spacecraft is perfectly balanced for flight, engineers mount it onto a spin table and rotate it at high speeds, approximately one revolution per second. (NASA Ames)

"The small car-sized Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is a robotic mission that will orbit the moon to gather detailed information about the structure and composition of the thin lunar atmosphere and determine whether dust is being lofted into the lunar sky," NASA says.

Having a better idea of these characteristics will in turn help researchers to understand other bodies in the solar system, such as large asteroids, Mercury, and the moons of outer planets, NASA adds.

LADEE will lift off from a U.S. space agency facility in Virginia at 11:27 pm ET Friday. 

It will be the first moonshot ever from Virginia.

Almost all of NASA's previous moon missions over the past 54 years have originated from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

With files from The Associated Press

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