NASA’s first use of a low-cost, modular spacecraft design will be put into an unusually low orbit of the Moon to sample its atmosphere and dust and create a profile that will be useful for studies throughout the Solar System. The Lunar Atmosphere Dust Environment Explorer (Ladee) is still in the early days of mission and science planning but is booked for an Oct. 28, 2012, liftoff on an Orbital Sciences Minotaur V from NASA’s Wallops Island, Va., space complex. It will be the debut of ...


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