(September 7, 2013)--NASA's newest robotic explorer is on its way to the moon.
The LADEE spacecraft lifted off late Friday night from Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
It was a change of venue for NASA, which typically launches its moon missions from Cape Canaveral, Fla.
The launch provided a rare light show along the East Coast for those blessed with clear skies.
NASA expected the launch to be visible, weather permitting, as far south as South Carolina, as far north as Maine and as far west as Pittsburgh.
The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, or LADEE, should reach the moon on Oct. 6.
It will orbit for a few months, analyzing the moon’s delicate atmosphere and rough lunar dust.
The six-month mission costs $280 million.