Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer spacecraft

NASA Ames LADEE Mission: NASA Briefing Previews Lunar Mission 

NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, or LADEE, spacecraft has completed the check-out phase of its mission and has begun science operations around the moon. All the science instruments on-board have been examined by the LADEE team and have been cleared to begin collecting and analyzing the dust in the exosphere, or very thin atmosphere, that surrounds the moon.

NASA’s Ames Research Center designed, developed, built, and tested the spacecraft and manages mission operations.

For more information about the LADEE mission, please visit
For more information about NASA Ames, please visit


Communications Demonstration.
This is NASA’s first high-data-rate laser communications system used on a deep space mission. It will enable communications similar to the capabilities found in high-speed fiber optic networks.

Take note of communications technique.

 Free-space optical communication (FSO) is an optical communication technology that uses light propagating in free space to wirelessly transmit data for telecommunications or computer networking. “Free space” means air, outer space, vacuum, or something similar. This contrasts with using solids such as optical fiber cable or an optical transmission line. The technology is useful where the physical connections are impractical due to high costs or other considerations.

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