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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

WALLOPS ISLAND: From MARS to the Moon

Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corporation Monday announced that the Minotaur V rocket will propel NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) probe on a trajectory to enable it to orbit the Moon from the Wallops Island, VA. Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport.

"We are pleased to support NASA and the Air Force for this exciting mission to Earth's Moon," said Mr. Lou Amorosi, Orbital Vice President and Program Director of the Minotaur product line. "The Minotaur V launch vehicle was designed exactly with missions such as LADEE in mind, using both government-supplied and commercial rocket motors to provide highly reliable and affordable launches for high-energy and escape-trajectory missions."

LADEE is a NASA probe that will orbit the Moon to characterize the atmosphere and lunar dust environment and determine the global density, composition, and time variability of the lunar atmosphere before it is perturbed by further human activity. More from MarketWatch.

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