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  NASA's LADEE: Viewing, questions, comments

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Author Topic:   NASA's LADEE: Viewing, questions, comments
Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-06-2013 02:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
LADEE to the Moon: mission viewing, questions, comments
This thread is for comments and questions regarding LADEE mission to the moon and the updates published under the topic: NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE).

LADEE is a robotic mission that will orbit the moon to gather detailed information about the lunar atmosphere, conditions near the surface and environmental influences on lunar dust. An understanding of these characteristics will address long-standing unknowns, and help scientists understand other planetary bodies as well.

Glint
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posted 08-06-2013 02:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to initial posting in the NASA's LADEE to study the moon's atmosphere thread,

The LADEE spacecraft's modular common spacecraft bus, or body, is an innovative way of transitioning away from custom designs and toward multi-use designs and assembly-line production, which could drastically reduce the cost of spacecraft development, just as the Ford Model T did for automobiles.
Curious statement, considering long ago NASA had already done this. Designed a multi-use modular spacecraft bus with COTS modules, about 40 years ago. Then again later with the modular, adaptive, and reconfigurable approach.

What's new is old, I guess.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-26-2013 09:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The launch of NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment (LADEE) spacecraft on a Minotaur V rocket from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia should be visible to millions living in the northeast United States.

Orbital Sciences has provided a guide and Google Earth file for those planning to view the launch.

Glint
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posted 09-06-2013 08:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In a few hours I should be on the road to Virginia for tonight's lunar liftoff of the new five-stage Minotaur V rocket.

Weather looks good — mostly clear skies with surface winds under 5 mph.

Earlier this year, during the cold winter, a friend and I used Google Earth & Maps to select some possible prime viewing locations. This past spring he made a trip out there to reconnoiter the spots and select the best.

I'm not exactly sure which public spot he selected, but his impression was that it's less than two miles form the pad. Guess I'll find out more when we get there.

Is there any information available about road and/or beach closings at launch time?

If the prime spot is unavailable, we do have several other options of sites all of which are within four miles of the launch site.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-06-2013 08:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Public Viewing Sites Established for NASA LADEE Moon Mission from Wallops:
Residents and visitors for the launch of NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), scheduled to lift-off at 11:27 p.m. EDT, Sept. 6, from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport's Pad-0B at the Wallops Flight Facility, will have two prime viewing locations.

In partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Accomack County Board of Supervisors and the Town of Chincoteague, visitors to the area may view the launch from Robert Reed Park on Chincoteague or Beach Road spanning the area between Chincoteague and Assateague Islands.

The two sites will feature the LADEE launch countdown live and NASA personnel will be on hand to discuss the LADEE mission. In addition, a live broadcast of the launch operations will be shown on a big-screen projector in Robert Reed Park beginning at 9:30 p.m. on the day of launch.

...the Robert Reed Park and Beach Road viewing sites are the official viewing sites for the LADEE launch. Area residents and visitors to the area should note that the beach on Assateague Island (Va.) will close at 7 p.m. on day of launch and will not be open for launch viewing given the safety area required for LADEE's launch trajectory. Furthermore, it's expected that the NASA Visitors Center will reach capacity early and close.

Ben
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posted 09-06-2013 10:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The spots you found are all going to be closed for this one, unlike for Antares in April. There are more safety precautions with an all-solid fuel Minotaur, and they are also working crowd control.

As for whether they will be open again for Antares in a couple of weeks remains to be seen. They may limit crowds from now on.

The public is being directed tonight to two spots ten miles north of the pad, and the visitor center is also closed this time. No close viewing that has a clear view appears to be available. But let us know if you find a good spot in the end.

Glint
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posted 09-06-2013 10:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the info. I'll let you know what we find.

MarylandSpace
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posted 09-06-2013 01:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had hoped to be picked for the NASA Tweetup/Social but it wasn't meant to be. However, I'm still looking forward to tonight's launch and I thank Robert for the links/details.

drjeffbang
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posted 09-06-2013 10:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for drjeffbang   Click Here to Email drjeffbang     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow! My wife and I just watched the launch. We're about 220 miles due west from Wallops and we had a great view with very clear skies tonight.

xlsteve
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posted 09-06-2013 10:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for xlsteve   Click Here to Email xlsteve     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My wife and I had a great view from just south of Boston. I think we caught the second stage ignition.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-06-2013 11:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA has a Flickr pool for spectators photos of LADEE's launch.

Ben
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posted 09-07-2013 12:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
LADEE TO THE MOON! As seen from the Top of the Rock, Rockefeller Center, the Orbital Sciences Minotaur V rocket sends NASA's LADEE spacecraft on its way to the moon! The Empire State Building is green and blue of the US Open of tennis.

Grounded!
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posted 09-07-2013 10:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Grounded!   Click Here to Email Grounded!     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is a wonderful picture Ben!!! We were fortunate to have such a clear night.

Tom
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posted 09-07-2013 10:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Excellent shot, Ben.

Minotaur 5 sure put on a great show for the East coast last night!

stsmithva
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posted 09-08-2013 04:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ben, that photo sure is great - I've seen it posted in several places this weekend, and Phil Plait of "Bad Astronomy" named it as his favorite in this Slate article.

Glint
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posted 09-08-2013 06:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ben:
The spots you found are all going to be closed for this one
Fortunately, that was not the case. The spot we observed from, based on the sound delay in our video, was 2.1 miles from the pad.

We had looked at a spot that was a little closer. But others told us that our primary spot would be closed for sure, just like it had been for Antares. Sure enough, after dinner we found that road was barricaded and guarded by the authorities. So we retreated to the 2.1 mile site.

One interesting after effect was a roaring grass fire caused by the launch. Here's a photo I snapped of it:

Ben
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posted 09-08-2013 11:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hmm, interesting, do you know what road or where it was?

Thanks for the comments above.

JBoe
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posted 09-09-2013 09:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ben, Great shot!

JBoe
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posted 09-09-2013 09:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Glint:
But others told us that our primary spot would be closed for sure, just like it had been for Antares.
Is this a "standard" viewing area and is this the area for all of Wallops launches?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-11-2013 08:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did a frog get caught in LADEE's launch blast?

Photo credit: NASA/Wallops/Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport via Universe Today

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-12-2013 11:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Update from NASA:
A still camera on a sound trigger captured this intriguing photo of an airborne frog as NASA's LADEE spacecraft lifts off from Pad 0B at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The photo team confirms the frog is real and was captured in a single frame by one of the remote cameras used to photograph the launch. The condition of the frog, however, is uncertain.

Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuge was created on July 10, 1975 and is comprised mainly of salt marsh and woodlands. The wildlife refuge contains habitat for a variety of species, including upland- and wetland-dependent migratory birds. Additionally, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has an agreement with NASA to use the NASA-owned portion of Wallops Island for research and management of declining wildlife in special need of protection. The agreement with NASA covers approximately 3,000 acres of Wallops Island proper and is primarily salt marsh.

But how is it possible for wildlife to peacefully coexist with space operations and what effects do rocket launches have on wildlife? NASA’s launch facilities, roads, and facilities take up a small percentage of the area. The rest of the area remains undeveloped and provides excellent habitat for wildlife. During launches, short term disturbance occurs in the immediate vicinity of the launch pads, but the disturbance is short-lived allowing space launches and a wildlife habitat to coexist.

onesmallstep
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posted 09-12-2013 01:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I guess Kermit really is a big space fan

fredtrav
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posted 09-12-2013 02:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
He was jumping for joy. (Could not resist.)

Ronpur
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posted 09-12-2013 04:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I asked on our recent tour of LC 39A if they ever found fried birds after a launch. The tour guy, whose son worked at the pad during shuttle missions, had told him they had found a lot of cooked frogs. I guess they always get in the way no matter what launch site.

(And it almost looks like a person!)

Jay Chladek
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posted 09-12-2013 06:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Somebody had a little fun with Photoshop on Twitter as the frog now has an astronaut portrait.

micropooz
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posted 09-16-2013 05:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I heard that the frog pic was shown on the "Kelly and Michael" talk show this morning. The fave caption was "Fry Me To The Moon..."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-04-2014 12:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
Guess the LADEE Impact:
'Take the Plunge' Challenge

What's your best guess? NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft is gradually lowering its orbital altitude over the moon, as it continues to make important science observations.

When do you think it'll take the plunge?

LADEE mission managers expect the spacecraft will impact of the moon's surface on or before April 21. On April 11, ground controllers at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., will command LADEE to perform its final orbital maintenance maneuver prior to a total lunar eclipse on April 15, when Earth's shadow passes over the moon. This eclipse, which will last approximately four hours, exposes the spacecraft to conditions just on the edge of what it was designed to survive.

This final maneuver will ensure that LADEE's trajectory will impact the far side of the moon, which is not in view of Earth and away from any previous lunar mission landings. There are no plans to target a particular impact location on the lunar surface, and the exact date and time depends on several factors.

Enter the Take the Plunge: LADEE Impact Challenge.

Winners will be announced after impact and will be e-mailed a commemorative, personalized certificate from the LADEE program. The submissions deadline is 3 p.m. Pacific time on Friday, April 11. Only one submission per person and only the first submission counts in the case of a duplicate entry. NASA is not responsible for loss or damages incurred as a result of you submitting your guess. NASA, moreover, is not responsible for loss or damages incurred if the challenge is cancelled with limited or no notice.

For more information about this challenge, visit the main Challenge site and for more about the LADEE mission, visit the LADEE website.

JBoe
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From: Edgewater, MD, USA
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posted 04-11-2014 10:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good luck to all that submitted their guesses. I think that it would crash about a week or two after the scheduled time. But, there wasn't a choice for that so I settled for the 17th.

JBoe
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From: Edgewater, MD, USA
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 04-18-2014 02:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any winners of LADEE's impact time?

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