CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (April 18, 2014) LADEE, NASA's small moon-orbiting spacecraft, has crashed into the back side of the moon, NASA’s flight control confirmed early Friday.
Researchers believe the robotic explorer vaporized on contact because of its high orbiting speed of 3,600 miles per hour.
It may have slammed into a mountain or side of a crater.
As of late Thursday afternoon, the spacecraft was flying 300 feet above the lunar surface.
Its altitude was lowered on purpose to ensure a crash by Monday.
LADEE, which is short for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, was launched in September, completed its main science mission last month and was on overtime.