US launched a spacecraft to explore moon's atmosphere.
On September 07, 2013 at 03:27 UTC the "Minotaur-5” rocket-carrier was launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. It is a commercial space launch facility located at the southern tip of NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on the Delmarva Peninsula south of Chincoteague, Virginia, USA. The rocket was launched by Orbital Sciences Corporation and orbited the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) to Moon on a mission to explore its atmosphere and the role of dust in the lunar sky. The 280-million-U.S.-dollar mission will gather detailed information about the structure and composition of the thin lunar atmosphere and study how moon dust behaves above the lunar surface, according to NASA. Once it reaches the moon, the LADEE will begin its 40-day commissioning phase, the first 30 days of which the spacecraft will be performing activities high above the moon's surface. These activities include testing a high-data-rate laser communication system that will enable higher rates of satellite communications similar in capability to high-speed fiber optic networks on Earth. Next, the LADEE is expected to spend about 100 days studying the lunar environment before running out of fuel and crashing into the moon's surface.