NASA

NASA Launching New Lunar Explorer

Size of a car

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NASA is preparing to launch a new spacecraft to the moon, the first launch beyond Earth's orbit to take place from its facility at Wallops Island—less than 200 miles from Washington, D.C.—on Virginia's Atlantic coast, at 11:27 p.m. EDT on Sept. 6.

Named as Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, or LADEE, the small car-sized spacecraft is expected to gather detailed information about the structure and composition of the moon's thin atmosphere, and determine if dust is being lofted into the lunar sky.