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NASA’s LADEE Moon Probe Puts On Show For The Eastern U.S.

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LADEELate Friday night, NASA launched a Minotaur V rocket carrying a lunar orbiter called LADEE (Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer). The rocket was visible to much of the northeast seaboard as it arced through the sky.

LADEE, which despite its adorable acronym is unmanned (and unwomaned), is a “modular common spacecraft bus” that weighs roughly 850 pounds and is the length of a small car. The modular components and parallel assembly keep design costs down and shortens launch preparation time. It only takes 295 watts to power—that’s akin to five 60-watt light bulbs.