Having solved a 42-year-old mystery about lunar "streamers," the $280 million LADEE spacecraft is set to vaporize when it collides with the moon around April 21st.
The NASA spacecraft is designed to answer a 42-year-old mystery about lunar dust, but it's also snapping photos along the way.
The moon often seems like an ancient relic of space exploration, that dusty, dry, airless ball of rock and soil that we visited decades ago and have since left alone—possibly because we found nothing there but dust, rock, and soil? Not so fast. Exploration in the past few years has revealed aspects of the moon that contradict what we were taught in school.
In 1972, an Apollo 17 astronaut glimpsed a strange phenomenon of streaming light from the window of the command module as it orbited the dark side of the moon. Now, a new NASA mission aims to discover what caused that phenomenon, and whether it could be a hazard for future lunar landings.