LADEE preparing for its final days in space

Hampton Roads, Va. – The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission is coming to a crashing end – literally.

“The LADEE mission has just over achieved all of our expectations for it, but it is approaching the end of its life,” said Joan Salute, LADEE program executive by teleconference.

LADEE,  launched from Wallops Island last September, has spent months orbiting the moon, collecting information about the lunar atmosphere, conditions near the moon’s surface, and environmental influences on lunar dust – information that NASA scientists knew very little about until now.

“LADEE’s science cup really overflowed. It was meant to be a 100-day mission. It’s gone beyond that,” said Rick Elphic, project scientist. “LADEE has discovered a dust vale that enshrouds the moon perpetually.  That shroud is caused by the steady rain of micrometeoroidal material down on the lunar surface. And each one of those micrometeoroids strikes the surface and sends up a large cloud of debris, which then LADEE flies through.”

Now that LADEE’s primary science phase is complete, scientists are turning their attention to more risky moves with the vending machine size spacecraft. One of them – having LADEE fly through an eclipse.  It’s a risky move because of the falling temperatures and freeze potential to the spacecraft. The other risk – flying LADEE at lower altitudes to make a planned impact on the surface of the moon by April 21.

“There is a chance that we could clip a mountain accidentally, but the risk is pretty low for that.  And really, the value of the science that we can do with this attempt is worth this risk,” said Butler Hine, LADEE project manager.

A risk NASA scientists are will to take so that we can learn more about the moon’s atmosphere and those of other planets and moons in space.

1 Comment

  • Babu G. Ranganathan

    SCIENCE SHOWS THAT THE UNIVERSE CANNOT BE ETERNAL because it could not have sustained itself eternally due to the law of entropy (increasing net energy decay, even in an open system). Einstein showed that space, matter, and time all are physical and all had a beginning. Space even produces particles because it’s actually something, not nothing. Even time had a beginning! Time is not eternal.

    The law of entropy doesn’t allow the universe to be eternal. If the universe were eternal, everything, including time (which modern science has shown is as physical as mass and space), would have become totally entropied by now and the entire universe would have ended in a uniform heat death a long, long time ago. The fact that this hasn’t happened already is powerful evidence for a beginning to the universe.

    Popular atheistic scientist Stephen Hawking admits that the universe had a beginning and came from nothing but he believes that nothing became something by a natural process yet to be discovered. That’s not rational thinking at all, and it also would be making the effect greater than its cause to say that nothing created something. The beginning had to be of supernatural origin because natural laws and processes do not have the ability to bring something into existence from nothing. What about the Higgs boson (the so-called “God Particle”)? The Higgs boson does not create mass from nothing, but rather it converts energy into mass. Einstein showed that all matter is some form of energy.

    The supernatural cannot be proved by science but science points to a supernatural intelligence and power for the origin and order of the universe. Where did God come from? Obviously, unlike the universe, God’s nature doesn’t require a beginning.

    EXPLAINING HOW AN AIRPLANE WORKS doesn’t mean no one made the airplane. Explaining how life or the universe works doesn’t mean there was no Maker behind them. Natural laws may explain how the order in the universe works and operates, but mere undirected natural laws cannot explain the origin of that order. Once you have a complete and living cell then the genetic code and biological machinery exist to direct the formation of more cells, but how could life or the cell have naturally originated when no directing code and mechanisms existed in nature? Read my Internet article: HOW FORENSIC SCIENCE REFUTES ATHEISM.

    WHAT IS SCIENCE? Science simply is knowledge based on observation. No one observed the universe coming by chance or by design, by creation or by evolution. These are positions of faith. The issue is which faith the scientific evidence best supports.

    Some things don’t need experiment or scientific proof. In law there is a dictum called prima facie evidence. It means “evidence that speaks for itself.”

    An example of a true prima facie would be if you discovered an elaborate sand castle on the beach. You don’t have to experiment to know that it came by design and not by the chance forces of wind and water.

    If you discovered a romantic letter or message written in the sand, you don’t have to experiment to know that it was by design and not because a stick randomly carried by wind put it there. You naturally assume that an intelligent and rational being was responsible.

    I encourage all to read my popular Internet articles: NATURAL LIMITS TO EVOLUTION and HOW FORENSIC SCIENCE REFUTES ATHEISM

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    Babu G. Ranganathan*
    (B.A. Bible/Biology)

    Author of popular Internet article, TRADITIONAL DOCTRINE OF HELL EVOLVED FROM GREEK ROOTS

    *I have given successful lectures (with question and answer period afterwards) defending creation before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities. I’ve been privileged to be recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis “Who’s Who in The East” for my writings on religion and science.

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