Mike’s Tweets

Guessing the Chang’e-3 trajectory [Where is Chang’e-3 now]

Our Chinese colleagues launched a lander to the Moon on December first, but unfortunately they have chosen not to publicly share where their spacecraft is. A few days ago there were several TLEs in Spacetrack associated with the Chang’e 3 launch, all of which didn’t appear to be associated with it at first glance (wrong […]

LADEE Trajectory Update 10-22-13: Post LOI-3 Commissioning Orbit

Sorry for the delay in updating, Astrogator_Mike had to make the long drive home after LOI-3 and get configured back in his home base. In the mean time, Lunar Orbit Insertion Burn 3 (LOI-3) was completed successfully (within 0.6% of target) on Oct. 13, 2013. LADEE’s post LOI-3 orbit had an aposelene altitude of 250 […]

LADEE Trajectory Update 10-12-13: One hour to last LOI

LADEE’s last Lunar Orbit Insertion burn is scheduled for 8:33 PM PDT today. Woooo Hoooo!


Here’s LADEE now:



From above:




And from Earth:




LADEE Trajectory Update 10-11-13: One LOI left to go

With Lunar Orbit Insertion Burns LOI-1 and LOI-2 done, LADEE now sits in a 4 hr orbit awaiting LOI-3 on Saturday (8:33 PM PDT).


First the view from LADEE:


The view from above the orbit plane:



And the view of LADEE from Earth:



Our favorite LADEE picture yet

Our Japanese friend on twitter @LadeeOrbiter posted this picture today:




This is way cool. It would make a great Halloween costume!

We understand that the twitter account is an unofficial site for lunar impact flash even monitoring by amateur astronomers in Japan to support the LADEE mission. The LADEE […]

LADEE Trajectory Update 10-9-13: LOI-2 nominal

The LADEE Lunar Orbit Insertion burn 2 (LOI-2) executed as planned this morning at 3:38 PDT, placing LADEE into a 4 hr orbit. Things move much faster now for the spacecraft, and the Moon is looking a lot bigger. We originally captured with a periselene altitude near 560 km but our periselene has now been […]

LADEE Trajectory Update 10-9-13: 4 hrs to LOI-2

Lunar Orbit Insertion Maneuver 2 (LOI-2) is upon us, scheduled for 09 Oct 2013 10:38 UTC. This maneuver will lower our periselene altitude from 15700 km down to 2220 km and change our orbit period from 24 hrs to 4 hrs.

The maneuver will last for 220.8 seconds, and will impart a delta-V (change in […]

LADEE Trajectory Update: 10-08-13

LADEE is now in its last rev in the 24 hour capture orbit, and preparing for LOI-2, which will lower the spacecraft into a 4 hr orbit. LOI-2 is scheduled for 10:38 UTC (3:38 AM PDT) Wed. morning, Oct. 9. Here’s the view from LADEE to the Moon:



Here’s the orbit [Note: […]