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Rick Elphic: Now For Something Completely Different: The LADEE Mission to the Moon

February 15, 2011 @ 9:00 am PST

On Tuesday, February 15 Rick Elphic will speak on, “Now For Something Completely Different: The LADEE Mission to the Moon”.

Thank you to all who joined the Rick Elphic’s talk about the LADEE mission. You can see an archive of the talk here.

See the posted description for the talk below.

The thirteenth speaker for the NLSI Director’s Seminar Series will be Rick Elphic, a member of the NLSI team DREAM Team led by Bill Farrell from the Goddard Space Flight Center.

Now For Something Completely Different: The LADEE Mission to the Moon


Nearly 40 years have passed since the last Apollo missions investigated the mysteries of the tenuous lunar atmosphere and the question of levitated lunar dust. The most important questions remain: what is the composition, structure and variability of the lunar exosphere? What are its origins, transport mechanisms, and loss processes? Is lofted lunar dust the cause of the horizon glow observed by the Surveyor missions and Apollo astronauts? How does such levitated dust arise and move, what is its density, and what is its ultimate fate?

NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is currently under development to address these questions. LADEE will determine the composition of the lunar atmosphere and investigate the processes that control its distribution and variability, including sources, sinks, and surface interactions. LADEE will also determine whether dust is present in the lunar exosphere, and reveal its sources and variability. LADEE’s results are relevant to surface boundary exospheres and dust processes throughout the solar system, will address questions regarding the origin and evolution of lunar volatiles, and will have implications for future exploration activities. LADEE will be the first mission based on the Ames Common Bus design, the first to be launched on the Minotaur V rocket, and the first deep space mission launched from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.


Rick Elphic is Project Scientist for the LADEE mission. He received a BS in Astronomy from the University of Arizona, and his PhD in Geophysics and Space Physics from UCLA. His dissertation was based on observations from Ames’ Pioneer Venus Orbiter mission. While at Los Alamos National Laboratory, he worked on another Ames mission, Lunar Prospector. Dr. Elphic’s research interests include the history of water in the inner solar system, especially the Moon and Mars, and developing instrumentation to prospect for and characterize volatiles from landed, mobile platforms.

WHEN:Tuesday, February 15, 2011, 9:00 AM Pacific, 17:00 GMT



Please RSVP to Ricky Guest (Ricky.Guest@nasa.gov) if you will be joining by Polycom. Do not connect to the teleconference if you will be joining by Polycom.

To view the slides, connect to https://connect.arc.nasa.gov/nlsi_director_seminars/


No RSVP is necessary. The slides for this meeting will be presented using Adobe Connect. To join the meeting, connect to https://connect.arc.nasa.gov/nlsi_director_seminars/

The teleconference number will be displayed when joining the meeting.

Posted: Feb 10, 11:41 am


February 15, 2011
9:00 am PST
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