NASA's moon-orbiting spacecraft crashes - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

NASA's moon-orbiting spacecraft crashes

Posted:
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (WREX) -

A small, moon-orbiting robot named LADEE has crashed into the back side of the moon, according to NASA flight controllers.

Researchers believe it possibly hit a mountain or side of a crater, vaporizing on contact due to its orbiting speed of 3,600 mph. The spacecraft had been flying 300 feet above the moon's surface late Thursday afternoon, after its altitude was purposely lowered to ensure it crashed by Monday.

LADEE is short for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer. The spacecraft was launched in September and completed its main mission last month.

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