Written by Rob Klindt
NASA is launching its next robotic moon probe on Friday, Sept. 6 from its Wallops Flight Facility on the eastern coast of Virginia.
But just because the launch is happening on the East Coast, that doesn’t mean Bay Area space enthusiasts have to feel left out.
A special “NASA Ames Science Night” is planned locally at Shenandoah Plaza at the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, near Mountain View. The public event will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. with the launch of the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environmental Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft expected to occur about 8:27 p.m.
The event will include speakers on various NASA projects, including the LADEE, informational science booths, telescope exhibits, food trucks and games. Highlighting the program will be a live broadcast screening of the LADEE launch on a large outdoor screen. Visitors should bring a chair or blanket to sit on while watching the launch from the lawn area.
A limited number of free tickets are available by visiting the event reservation page. If all available public tickets are already distributed, visitors can sign up on a waiting list. In the event that the launch is canceled or postponed, Friday’s launch festivities at Moffett Field will go on as scheduled.
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. A thorough understanding of these characteristics will help scientists understand other planetary bodies, such as Mercury, outer planets' moons, and larger asteroids.
Viewing the Launch Online
For those who want to view the launch on their own, NASA is offering a number of high-tech ways to do it.
- Apps: Android cell phone and tablet users have the option of downloading the new “What’s Up at Wallops” app, which contains information on the launch as well as a compass showing the precise direction for launch viewing. Download the app here.
- Broadcast: A live broadcast of the launch will air on NASA TV; a television schedule as well as a live webcast of the launch will be available. Visit NASA TV here.
- Social Media: NASA’s web and
social media resources will carry the latest information on the LADEE launch.
Visit the Wallops website here
Visit the NASA Connect website here
For more information about the LADEE mission and launch, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ladee.