News / Science & Technology

    NASA Heads Back to the Moon

    This image provided by NASA shows the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer aboard a Minotaur V rocket after a rollout at NASA's Wallops Island test flight facility in Wallops Island, Va., Sept. 5, 2013.
    This image provided by NASA shows the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer aboard a Minotaur V rocket after a rollout at NASA's Wallops Island test flight facility in Wallops Island, Va., Sept. 5, 2013.
    VOA News
    The U.S. space agency is returning to the moon.

    An unmanned rocket blasted off late Friday from Virginia's Eastern Shore with a robotic explorer that will study the lunar atmosphere and dust.

    The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, known as LADEE, is the size of a small car, and it will collect data for 100 days as it orbits our moon.

    Scientists want to learn more about the moon's thin atmosphere because they think it could be common in our solar system. That knowledge could help them better understand large asteroids and other planets, including Mercury.

    Most of NASA's previous lunar missions were launched from Florida. The first moon shot from Virginia was visible over a large area of the eastern United States - home to more than 50 million people.

    The LADEE capsule will have no way to return from lunar orbit, so the U.S. space agency intends to aim spacecraft into a controlled crash on the surface of the moon.

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    by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
    September 09, 2013 5:56 AM
    I also do not know why the LADEE capsule needs to be crashed. Is there any problems if the capsule keeps orbiting the moon?
    In Response

    by: Manda Ginjiro from: Minami, Namba
    September 11, 2013 10:29 AM
    That's because the capsule will become obstructive for other space crafts orbiting the moon.

    That is very dangerous.

    by: Doug from: Canada
    September 07, 2013 8:07 PM
    Just sending an unmanned spaceship to the moon doesnt inspire much interest in me.If not for getting its budget cut NASA would have been planning to send astronauts back the moon by 2020.This not the NASA I knew as a child of the 1960s and 70s and it saddens me that the agency who put man on the moon has become a hollow shell of its former self
    In Response

    by: JETH from: philippines
    September 08, 2013 2:58 AM
    I just want to comment on these statement that "The LADEE capsule will have no way to return from lunar orbit, so the U.S. space agency intends to aim spacecraft into a controlled crash on the surface of the moon. " for me if they had'nt shut down the spaceshuttle program probably there is a chance of recovering this |space asset" instead of "controlled crashing it....".

    by: Kitagawa Keikoh from: Daikanyama, T-site
    September 07, 2013 7:26 PM
    Why do we need to go to the moon?
    Why do we need to explore into space?
    To get a new material?
    To seek for a new frontier ?

    That's for a war.
    That's for taking advantage of enemy.
    Not for our better life.

    Using and knowing the earth orbit is good.
    But further more means nothing.
    In Response

    by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
    September 09, 2013 6:06 AM
    Did not a report in VOA dealing with this LADEE project say investigating the atmosphere and dust of the moon is useful in the cace we construct solar power plants in future?

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