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Ground controllers at NASA's Ames Research Center are gradually lowering LADEE's orbital altitude to fly approximately 1 to 2 miles above the surface of the Moon.
The completion of the 30-day Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration or LLCD mission has revealed that the possibility of expanding broadband capabilities in space using laser communications is as bright as expected.
NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) successfully entered orbit around the moon’s equator earlier this week and is now set to begin collecting atmospheric data, the US space agency has announced.
NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) probe successfully achieved orbit around the moon on Sunday, officials from the US space agency confirmed earlier this week.
“Yes, the Moon does have an atmosphere,” says Richard Elphic, the project scientist for LADEE at NASA Ames. “It’s just much more tenuous than ours.”
Laser-based fiber optic technology may slowly be becoming the standard way to send digital communications here on Earth – but for deep-space transmissions, NASA and other space agencies have been relying on radio waves to send data and computer codes.
NASA is preparing to launch a new lunar mission from Virginia on September 6 that is expected to set many firsts for the space agency.