Labor Day weekend rocket fun!

An artist's concept of NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft firing its maneuvering thrusters in order to maintain a safe altitude as it orbits the moon.
Image Credit: 
NASA Ames / Dana Berry

An artist's concept of NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft firing its maneuvering thrusters in order to maintain a safe altitude as it orbits the moon. Image Credit: NASA Ames / Dana Berry

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA GODDARD) – Model rocket enthusiasts are invited to launch their rockets September 1 from the Visitor Center at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and learn about NASA’s next mission to the moon: the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE). All are welcome to view the launches and learn about the mission.

In partnership with NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, Calif., Goddard’s Wallops Flight Facility will launch LADEE in September, a robotic mission that will study the moon’s thin atmosphere and dust particles. Ames designed, developed, built and tested the spacecraft and will manage the 100-day mission—-which will attempt to confirm whether dust caused a mysterious glow on the lunar horizon astronauts observed during several Apollo missions—and Goddard plays a variety of key roles in LADEE.

The Goddard event begins at 1 p.m. EDT. The launch system will be provided, and technical support will be available for those who have never launched a model rocket before. Rocketeers will need to supply their own rocket, engine and wadding. The engine limit is D engine or less. These items are available for purchase at the gift shop located next to the visitor center.

Attendees can also inspect a model of LADEE, and Sarah Noble, LADEE program scientist, will give a talk about the mission. Lora Bleacher, NASA educator, will be available to answer questions about the mission, the moon, and NASA’s other recent lunar missions, including the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Directions to the Visitor Center are available at:

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/visitor/directions/index.html#.Uh3keZLVCAg

For more information on the gift shop, refer to:

http://www.spaceshoponline.com/

After LADEE is launched, Ames will control the spacecraft and execute mission operations. Goddard is responsible for the LADEE launch and several important LADEE components, including contributing a scientific instrument, demonstrations of the mission’s payload, including a state-of-the-art laser communications system, and science operations.

For more about LADEE, refer to:

http://www.nasa.gov/ladee

Nancy Neal-Jones / Bill Steigerwald
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
301-286-0039 / 5017
Nancy.N.Jones@nasa.gov / William.A.Steigerwald@nasa.gov

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