NASA Lunar Launch Has Minor Tech Glitch

Agency says it won't affect flight to moon

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Sep 7, 2013 11:16 AM CDT

(Newser) – NASA's newest robotic explorer ran into some technical trouble after last night's launch, but the agency says it's nothing to worry about. The LADEE spacecraft remains on track for the moon, though officials acknowledged the problem needs to be resolved in the next two to three weeks. NASA's S. Peter Worden told reporters he's confident everything will be working properly in the next few days. The onboard computer automatically shut down LADEE's reaction wheels, used to orient and stabilize the spacecraft, apparently because they were drawing excess current.

Worden speculated the wheels may have been running a little fast and stressed there is no rush to "get these bugs ironed out." That's because the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer isn't scheduled to reach the moon until Oct. 6. Space.com rounds up some of photos of the launch captured by sky-watchers along the East Coast.

In this photo provided by NASA, an unmanned Minotaur rocket lifts off with NASA's newest robotic explorer, the LADEE spacecraft.   (AP Photo/NASA, Carla Cioffi)
An unmanned Minotaur rocket carries NASA's newest robotic explorer, the LADEE spacecraft, toward the moon.   (AP Photo/The Daily Times, Todd Dudek)
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A video about the mission from NASA.   (NASA)

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