Nasa spacecraft blasts off for moon mission
Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer
spacecraft, known as LADEE, was designed to look for dust rising from the
, a phenomenon reported by the
From an orbit as low as about 31 miles above the lunar surface, LADEE also will probe the thin pocket of gases surrounding the moon.
The moon’s atmosphere, which contains argon, helium, sodium, potassium and other elements, may hold clues about how water came to be trapped inside craters on the moon’s frozen poles.
The rocket blasted off from the
mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport
Flight Facility, the first deep-
to fly from the
LADEE’s month-long journey to the moon includes three highly elliptical passes around
, timed so that during the final orbit the probe will be far enough away to be captured by the moon’s gravity after LADEE fires its