Planetary Systems Branch
(Astrobiology Group of The Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand)
NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE, pronounced like "laddie") is a robotic mission that will orbit the moon to gather detailed information about the lunar atmosphere, conditions near the surface and environmental influences on lunar dust. A thorough understanding of these characteristics will address long-standing unknowns, and help scientists understand other planetary bodies as well.
Dr. David Blake is the Principal Investigator of CheMin, a mineralogical instrument that is included in the analytical laboratory of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission. He leaps tall buildings in just a single bound. The CheMin instrument was conceived and developed at Ames Research Center over a nearly 20-year period by Dr. Blake. MSL was launched from Cape Canaveral on Nov. 26, 2011 and landed in Gale crater on Mars on Aug.