Gearing up for NASA Wallops' First Moon Mission - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Gearing up for NASA Wallops' First Moon Mission

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va.- The NASA Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore is making the final preparations for the first ever lunar mission from the facility.  The LADEE mission is scheduled for liftoff on Sept. 6.

LADEE stand for lunar atmosphere and dust environment explorer and it will collect valuable data for the NASA scientists.

"Learning about the moon, the atmosphere, and the dust around the moon will help us understand other similar planets and other similar bodies in the solar system," said NASA Project Manager Doug Voss.

Thursday in mission control, the flight team was running through the launch in the first of three dress rehearsals; working out all of the possible scenarios for launch day.  However, prepping for space is the only issue to take care of before launch.  Wallops is expecting a larger than normal crowd to gather to watch the liftoff, but the rocket trajectory will limit where crowds can gather.

"We are not going to be able to have folks go onto Assateague Island, onto the beaches, which we have done for some of our other past launches.  But the folks on Chincoteague, and within the community and the county have been really working hard to try and establish and looking at some other viewing sites," said Keith Koehler, NASA Wallops news chief.

The mission has been in the works for about five years and those involved are looking forward to the potential long-term impact the mission has for Wallops.

"It could mean more work for Wallops.  Wallops has invested a lot into building up our capability.  NASA has invested in Wallops to build up the capability to support Minotaur V missions from here.  So this gives us a whole new launch capability with this launch vehicle," said Voss.

The viewing locations being arranged by NASA and the surrounding communities should be settled by next week and those interested in checking out the launch can check out where to go at: https://www.facebook.com/NASAWFF or www.nasa.gov/centers/wallops

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