This image shows an evening view gantry at Pad 0B at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., on Sept. 4, 2013. In this photograph, the gantry surrounds the Minotaur V rocket that will launch NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE).
LADEE, managed by NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., is a robotic mission that will orbit the moon to gather detailed information about the lunar atmosphere, conditions near the surface and environmental influences on lunar dust. A thorough understanding of these characteristics will address long-standing unknowns, and help scientists understand other planetary bodies as well. LADEE is scheduled for launch at 11:27 p.m. EDT on Sept. 6.
Image credit: NASA Wallops/Patrick Black