LADEE Trajectory Update: 10-08-13

LADEE is now in its last rev in the 24 hour capture orbit, and preparing for LOI-2, which will lower the spacecraft into a 4 hr orbit.  LOI-2 is scheduled for 10:38 UTC (3:38 AM PDT) Wed. morning, Oct. 9. Here’s the view from LADEE to the Moon:




Here’s the orbit [Note: blue shows the 4 hr orbit we’re going to next.  Dotted lines show the past trajectory, solid are into the future.  So we’re not quite at aposelene yet.]


lunar orbit


And finally the really cool view AstrogatorJohn came up with yesterday of the view of the orbit from the Earth:




So if you go outside tonight and see the Moon, imagine this orbit.

LADEE’s Orbit as seen from Earth

After posting the picture of the Moon from the parking lot at Ames, we thought it would be cool to see what LADEE’s orbit would look like, if we could see it, from the Earth.  The picture below is from the Earth to the Moon, with Ecliptic North at the top.  The White Orbit is our current orbit, and the small white circle is where LADEE was when I took this snap… it’s moving to the right, towards periselene; the Blue Orbit is what it will be after LOI-2, and the Green Orbit is the near circular orbit we will stay in during commissioning for about a month before we start science operations.

LADEE's orbit as seen from Earth