Artist's depiction of LADEE.

The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is a NASA lunar exploration mission led by Ames Research Center in collaboration with Goddard Space Flight Center. The spacecraft was launched on September 7th, 2013, 03:27 UTC and entered the Moon's lunar orbit on October 6, 2013, 10:57 UTC. During its nominal 100-day scientific mission, LADEE will orbit around the Moon's equator, and use instruments aboard the spacecraft to study the lunar's atmosphere, and dust in the Moon's vicinity. Instruments include a dust detector, a neutral mass spectrometer, and an ultraviolet-visible spectrometer, as well as a tech technology demonstration consisting of a laser communications terminal.


LADEE was announced during the presentation of NASA's FY09 budget in February 2008. It was initially planned to be launched with the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) satellites.