LADEE closer to exploration of lunar environment

Apr 10, 2012

NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) has received its integrated propulsion system that will enable the spacecraft to reach the moon. Achieving this milestone means the LADEE observatory is one step closer to launching its 2013 mission to explore the lunar environment.

The LADEE , built by Space Systems/Loral, Palo Alto, Calif., features a commercially-proven technology. The propulsion system is a variant of the mission critical capabilities used for many years on geostationary satellites to provide television, radio, broadband internet, meteorology and other services.

The LADEE team now has most of the flight hardware components available, and has entered the spacecraft's integration phase. During this phase, the LADEE team will attach hardware components to the various parts of the spacecraft structure, starting with the top radiator panel. This panel contains most of the spacecraft's active electronic systems, except the propulsion system.

As each component is attached, it is tested to verify it was connected and works properly. So far, the team has attached a harness for the and a component to power up the spacecraft, and is preparing to attach the flight battery.

Strength testing of the modular common bus sections - the main super-structure of the spacecraft - built by Vanguard Space Technologies, San Diego, Calif., is about to begin. The bus will be fitted with models of all of the components, so that it can be tested to ensure it is strong enough to handle the rigors of . When all of the components of the radiator panel have been integrated and tested, then the panel will be attached to the main structure, along with the integrated propulsion system to complete the spacecraft.

While the spacecraft is being completed, the science teams will finish work on the LADEE instruments. After the team has a completed the and instruments, they all will come together and form the LADEE observatory.

Explore further: Image: Training for Sentinel-2A launch

More information: For more information about LADEE, visit: www.nasa.gov/ladee

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA to demonstrate communications via laser beam

Sep 23, 2011

It currently takes 90 minutes to transmit high-resolution images from Mars, but NASA would like to dramatically reduce that time to just minutes. A new optical communications system that NASA plans to demonstrate ...

Gas giant spacecraft all gassed up

Jul 08, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- The Juno spacecraft completed hydrazine fuel loading, oxidizer loading and final tank pressurizations this week, and now the complete propulsion system is ready for the trip to Jupiter. The ...

MAVEN mission primary structure complete

Sep 26, 2011

NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission has reached a new milestone. Lockheed Martin has completed building the primary structure of the MAVEN spacecraft at its Space Systems Company ...

Recommended for you

Image: Training for Sentinel-2A launch

22 minutes ago

On 25 February, the Sentinel-2A Mission Control Team at ESOC, ESA's mission operations centre, Darmstadt, Germany, commenced simulation training for the critical launch and early orbit phase.

Why don't we search for different life?

20 hours ago

If we really want to find life on other worlds, why do we keep looking for life based on carbon and water? Why don't we look for the stuff that's really different?

OSIRIS catches glimpse of Rosetta's shadow

21 hours ago

Several days after Rosetta's close flyby of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 14 February 2015, images taken on this day by OSIRIS, the scientific imaging system on board, have now been downlinked to Earth. ...

Kamikaze comet loses its head

22 hours ago

Like coins, most comet have both heads and tails. Occasionally, during a close passage of the Sun, a comet's head will be greatly diminished yet still retain a classic cometary outline. Rarely are we left ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.