Friday night, at 11:27 p.m. NASA launched the Orbital Sciences Minotaur 5 rocket called LADEE to the moon; the launch from Wallops Island, Virginia went smoothly. The rocket brightly lit up the sky as it took off towards the moon and could be seen in New York City, according to the Washington Post.
Immediately after the launch, NASAs Facebook page was flooded with comments that show how far away the rocket could be seen. See the video to the left for the rocket lift off.
The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) was made from pieces of the “Peacekeeper” ICBM and because of a Russian deal, it may only be launched from Alaska, California and Wallops Island, Virginia. 24 minutes into the flight, the LADEE spacecraft separated and continued its mission to the moon, according to CBS News.
NASA stated that the LADEE will study why and how the dust on the moon is suspended just above the surface and the atmosphere on the moon; it is planned to be there for about a month. NASA said that the cost of the explorer is $280 million.
The words "Godspeed on your journey to the moon, LADEE," can be heard in the NASA video and was made by an engineer.
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Sources: CBS News and Washington Post