Minotaur V rocket is not as glamorous as that of Tintin, but his goal is the same, or at least that of unmanned spacecraft that was sent to the moon on the night of September 6 to 7. The machine called LADEE for “Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer” is separated from the last stage of the launcher twenty minutes after the launch, which took place without a hitch since the firing of Wallops, Virginia thanks to favorable weather condition. If the result of his journey takes place as well, according to the schedule of NASA, the probe should enter into lunar orbit in a month.Solve a mystery forty years old
Last year, the U.S. space agency had already sent twin spacecraft to the Moon, one to study the caves of our natural satellite, the other its gravitational field. This time, it is to discover the secrets of its thin atmosphere, or its structure and chemical composition, and whether dust can remain in suspension, which by the way could solve the mystery of lights observed in 70 by astronauts Apollo missions.
Understanding “the diversity of our solar system”
In this case, there is no question of preparing a U.S. return to the moon, but a better understanding of similar objects in the solar system. And we must act quickly, said NASA, because the lunar atmosphere is so tenuous that exploration ground missions announced by several countries could change. At first, during forty days, LADEE auscultera Moon from a very high altitude, then the probe with particular two spectrometers, approaches the surface and continue testing in the atmosphere itself.
Pending the results transmitted by a laser of unprecedented power in the field, fans will delight in the images below, always spectacular, a departure to the stars. “Three, Two, One, Zero, Ignition.”