And as Dragon goes up, LADEE goes down….

Actually, it went down late last night.  But RIP LADEE, NASA’s latest lunar mission.  LADEE’s mission was always meant to end this way, a consequence of the low orbit it required to conduct its mission passing through the moon’s lumpy gravitational field and extremely tenuous atmosphere, and gradually easing lower to get ever more sensitive measurements.  NASA does not yet know exactly where it came down, but have a general idea, and expect they’ll find the impact site by searching through LRO imagery over the next few weeks.  LADEE survived the eclipse last Tuesday, but ultimately succumbed to the inexorable pull of gravity.  It was actually predicted to impact Sunday or MOnday, so it actually came down a little ahead of schedule.  But the Moon’s mascons make lunar navigation difficult, especially as you get close, so a precise date was never possible.

Now comes the next part of the mission: analyzing the data it returned!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Space

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s