Status Report

NASA LADEE Status Report 7 September 2013 1:40 p.m. EDT

By SpaceRef Editor
September 7, 2013
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NASA has confirmed that the reaction wheels of its Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) were successfully brought back on-line and the spacecraft has acquired its safe-mode attitude profile.

Last night during technical checkouts the LADEE spacecraft commanded itself to shut down the reaction wheels used to position and stabilize the spacecraft. According to the LADEE mission operations team at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., this was determined to be the result of fault protection limits put in place prior to launch to safeguard the reaction wheels. The limits that caused the powering off of the wheels soon after activation were disabled, and reaction wheel fault protection has been selectively re-enabled.

“Our engineers will determine the appropriate means of managing the reaction wheel fault protection program. Answers will be developed over time and will not hold up checkout activities,” said Butler Hine, LADEE project manager.

“The initial checkout flight procedure is progressing,” said S. Pete Worden, Ames center director. “The reaction wheel issue noted soon after launched was resolved a few hours later. The LADEE spacecraft is healthy and communicating with mission operators.”

The spacecraft was successfully launched at 11:27 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 6, from Pad 0B at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va. LADEE is on its way to arrive at the moon in 30 days, then enter lunar orbit. LADEE is managed by NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.

SpaceRef staff editor.