NASA sends unmanned rocket to the moon - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

NASA sends unmanned rocket to the moon

Posted: Updated:
Photo Credit: Courtesy: NASA Photo Credit: Courtesy: NASA

(CNN) -- NASA launched an unmanned rocket to the moon Friday night to study its lunar atmosphere and environment.

The 90-foot rocket carrying the orbiter was expected to be visible to much of the eastern U.S. seaboard when it launched from Virginia, officials said earlier. If skies were clear, residents of the Carolinas, northern Maine, West Virginia and Pittsburgh could see it, authorities said.

It launched at 11:27 p.m. ET at the Wallops Flight Facility at Wallops Island.

The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer is designed to "orbit the moon to gather detailed information about the lunar atmosphere, conditions near the surface and environmental influences on lunar dust," NASA said.

"A thorough understanding of these characteristics will address long-standing unknowns, and help scientists understand other planetary bodies as well," NASA said.

Nicknamed LADEE, it is expected to reach the moon on October 6.

Earth's distance from the moon is between 223,700 miles to 251,700 miles depending on the moon's position, the space agency says.

CNN's Diane Ruggiero contributed to this report.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • New meaning to "Labor Day" at the Zoo

    New meaning to "Labor Day" at the Zoo

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:50 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:50:30 GMT
    ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -- Staff at the Alexandria Zoo are hard at work on Labor Day.The zoo is always open on the holiday. But, a couple of the exhibits need some extra care.That's because they're celebrating a different kind of "Labor Day" - the birth of several new baby animals.More >>
    ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -- Staff at the Alexandria Zoo are hard at work on Labor Day.The zoo is always open on the holiday. But, a couple of the exhibits need some extra care.That's because they're celebrating a different kind of "Labor Day" - the birth of several new baby animals.More >>
  • The Garden Path Stone Center

    The Garden Path Stone Center

    Your path to a beautiful home and landscape!
    More >>
    Your path to a beautiful home and landscape!
    More >>
  • Golden Apple Award

    Golden Apple Award

    KALB News Channel 5 is honoring Central Louisiana's top teachers with our Golden Apple Award program, presented by Hixson Autoplex. More >>
    KALB News Channel 5 is honoring Central Louisiana's top teachers with our Golden Apple Award program, presented by Hixson Autoplex. More >>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KALB. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.