East Coast Should Get Great View of LADEE Launch Friday

East Coast Should Get Great View of LADEE Launch Friday

NASA’s next lunar mission, LADEE, remains on track for launch tomorrow, September 6, just before midnight Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).  The U.S. East Coast from South Carolina to Maine should be able to see it.

The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is scheduled for launch tomorrow at 11:27 EDT from Wallops Flight Facility on the coast of Virginia.  It will launch on an Orbital Sciences Corporation Minotaur V rocket, adapted from a Peacekeeper missile. 

During a press conference today, NASA Ames Research Center Director Pete Worden pointed out that this is the first spacecraft “designed, developed, built, integrated and tested” at Ames, in close partnership with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

The weather is 95 percent “go” for launch according to Sarah Dougherty, NASA Wallops test director, speaking at the same press conference.

The launch window is four minutes long.  If anything goes awry, additional launch opportunities exist on the subsequent four days as follows (all times are EDT):

  • Saturday, Sept. 7, 11:26 pm (15 minute launch window)
  • Sunday, Sept. 8, 11:21 pm (15 minute launch window)
  • Monday, Sept, 9, 11:22 pm (15 minute launch window)
  • Tuesday, Sept. 10, 11:22 pm (7 minute launch window)

Orbital Sciences has an illustration showing the areas where the launch should be visible.

Credit:  Orbital Sciences Corporation


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