NASA’s LADEE Mission (that’s “LAD-ee," not “lady,” short for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer), managed by Ames Research Center in Mountain View, has sent back its first images from the moon.
So NASA made a nifty little gif out of them.
The five photos were taken at one-minute intervals on February 8th, as LADEE zoomed along the moon’s orbit at approximately 60 miles a minute.
NASA Ames provides a guide to the many craters captured in the images, including Krieger crater, about 14 miles in diameter, in the first image, and a lunar mountain range, Montes Agricola, in the third image.
LADEE’s lunar voyage is a $280-million attempt to answer a forty-two year-old mystery: Was it dust that caused those strange, colorful bands of light that Commander Eugene Cernan saw through the window of Apollo 17's command module as it orbited the moon?