Monday, September 9, 2013

LADEE steadies itself, heads for lunar orbit

LADEE leaves Wallops
The first launch of a lunar spacecraft from Wallops Island, Virginia, 0327 UT 7 September, 2013. The fast-departing Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) observatory aboard Orbital Sciences Corporation Minotaur V wastes no time leaving the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility [NASA/ARC].
LADEE, launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island at 0327 UT, September 7, was the first flight for the Minotaur V and NASA's first Moon launch from Wallops Island.

Shortly after LADEE separated from the rocket, NASA realized the spacecraft's reaction wheels, which stabilize its orientation in space, had shut down too soon. Analysis on Saturday revealed pre-programmed safety limits had caused the switch-off, so NASA disabled the limits to allow the wheels to spin.

Updates HERE.

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