A NASA probe designed to gather information about the moon’s atmosphere reached its planned orbit on Wednesday.
Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer will circle the moon once every two hours for 100 days to help scientists examine the lunar dust environment, NASA said Thursday.
“A thorough understanding of the characteristics of our lunar neighbor will help researchers understand other small bodies in the solar system, such as asteroids, Mercury, and the moons of outer planets,” said Sarah Noble, a NASA program scientist in Washington.
LADEE contains a demonstration laser technology built to transmit satellite-based communications data between the moon and Earth.
NASA’s Science Mission Directorate financed the lunar mission while the Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. designed, built tested and integrated the spacecraft.