NASA’s Moon probe LADEE comes to an end

NASA’s Moon probe LADEE comes to an end
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21 Apr, 2014

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International, New Missions / Initiatives / Achievements,

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US space agency NASA’s Moon probe spacecraft LADEE ended as it crashed into the lunar surface to close the six-month mission. LADEE, which stood for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, was intentionally sent into the lunar surface during the third week of April 2014 as it lacked fuel to maintain a long-term lunar orbit or continue science operations. The spacecraft crashed into the lunar surface at 5,800 kmph, three times the speed of a high-powered rifle bullet. On 11 April 2014, LADEE performed a final manoeuvre to ensure a trajectory that caused the spacecraft to impact the far side of the Moon, which is not in view of Earth or near any previous lunar mission landings.


  • The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) was launched in September 2013 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
  • It started orbiting the Moon on 6 October 2013 and started gathering science related data from 10 November 2013.
  • LADEE also hosted NASA’s first dedicated system for two-way communication using laser instead of radio waves. The Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) made history using a pulsed laser beam to transmit data over the 384,633 km from the Moon to the Earth at a record-breaking download rate of 622 Mbps.

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