Our Latino STEM educational initiative just got a big push. We are proud to announce that we’ve been chosen by NASA to participate in the launch of the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE). The launch will take place in the Mid-Atlantic Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia this September 5th and 6th. The launch is currently scheduled on Sept. 6 at 11:27 p.m.
We will have the opportunity to witness the launch of the Minotaur V rocket carrying LADEE, hear first-hand accounts of the mission development and research goals from the LADEE science and engineering teams, get a behind-the-scenes tour of the Wallops Flight Facility, touch an actual moon rock, and interact with representatives from NASA and the Orbital Sciences Corporation. We’ll be documenting the whole trip through our social media accounts @arielcoro on Twitter and Facebook.
There are still unanswered questions about our nearest celestial body, some of which NASA is planning to solve through the launch of LADEE, a robotic mission designed to orbit the moon. The mission objectives are to collect thorough data about the characteristics of the thin atmosphere of our planet’s natural satellite, the existing conditions around its surface, and the role the environment plays on lunar dust.
One of the highlights of this mission is its revolutionary technology, as the spacecraft’s modular common spacecraft body or bus is aimed to transcend custom designs toward multi-use ones fabricated using an assembly-line production system, which could result in radical cost reduction of spacecraft development, comparable to the phenomenon that happened with the Ford Model T in 1908.
Witnessing a launch is a rare opportunity; in fact, even most of NASA employees have not had the chance to do it. Even though launches are more common these days, there is nothing ordinary about launching a rocket into space. We will be filming on site and producing educational packages for TV, radio and the web to highlight our Latino STEM educational initiatives. Our team will be posting updates with the accounts of this promising mission and its technological advances, which will certainly bring some light to the dark side of the moon.
Update: Video from our participation