NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explore (LADEE)

NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explore (LADEE)

Ingenium provided the project a broad spectrum of engineering expertise and services that included:

  • Thermal
  • Structural
  • Systems
  • Electrical
  • Software
  • Technicians
  • Mission Ops Manpower and Procedures
  • Vacuum facility design
  • Ground test equipment design and manufacture
  • Material Procurements

What is Project LADEE?

  • Project: LADEE was a robotic mission that orbited the moon to gather detailed information about the structure and composition of the thin lunar atmosphere, and determine whether dust is lofted into the lunar sky.

Project Mission

Ingenium strove to determine the global density, composition, and time variability of the tenuous lunar exosphere before it is perturbed by further human activity. We were also tasked with determining if the Apollo astronaut sightings of diffuse emission at tens of kilometers above the surface were sodium glow or dust. As the project progressed, we documented the dust impactor environment (size, frequency) to help guide design engineering for the outpost and also future robotic missions. We wanted to demonstrate our abilities two-way laser communication from lunar orbit. It was the first NASA lunar exploration mission led by the Ames Research Center in collaboration with the Goddard Space Flight Center and launched from the Wallops Flight Facility at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on a Minotaur V carrier rocket. The spacecraft was designed, integrated, built, and tested at Ames Research Center. The bus was never previously flown: It featured a novel design that was built at a much lower cost than typical NASA science missions. The design team faced many challenges in producing a spacecraft with no flight test legacy.