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The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) MissionThe Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is a Lunar science orbiter mission currently under development to address the goals of the National Research Council decadal surveys and the recent "Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon" (SCEM) [1] report to study the pristine state of the lunar atmosphere and dust environment prior to significant human activities. LADEE will determine the composition of the lunar atmosphere and investigate the processes that control its distribution and variability, including sources, sinks, and surface interactions. LADEE will also determine whether dust is present in the lunar exosphere, and reveal the processes that contribute to its sources and variability. These investigations are relevant to our understanding of surface boundary exospheres and dust processes throughout the solar system, address questions regarding the origin and evolution of lunar volatiles, and have potential implications for future exploration activities. LADEE employs a high heritage science instrument payload including a neutral mass spectrometer, ultraviolet spectrometer, and dust sensor. In addition to the science payloads, LADEE will fly a laser communications system technology demonstration that could provide a building block for future space communications architectures. LADEE is an important component in NASA's portfolio of near-term lunar missions, addressing objectives that are currently not covered by other U.S. or international efforts, and whose observations must be conducted before large-scale human or robotic activities irrevocably perturb the tenuous and fragile lunar atmosphere. LADEE will also demonstrate the effectiveness of a low-cost, rapid-development program utilizing a modular bus design launched on the new Minotaur V launch vehicle. Once proven, this capability could enable future lunar missions in a highly cost constrained environment. This paper describes the LADEE objectives, mission design, and technical approach.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Spremo, Stevan
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Turner, Mark
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Caffrey, Robert T.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Hine, Butler Preston
(IPA-ARC United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
March 6, 2010
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
AIAA Space 2009 Conference and Exposition(Big Sky, MT)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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