NASA will use the unmanned LADEE explorer to study the moon's delicate atmosphere and learn about similar space bodies.
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Among LADEE's science instruments is the ultraviolet and visible light spectrometer (UVS), located on the upper deck of the spacecraft. UVS is able to determine the composition of the lunar atmosphere by analyzing light signatures of various materials. While scientists are aware that the Earth's atmosphere contains oxygen, they don't know what makes up the moon's atmosphere. LADEE will help address the mystery as it sends its measurements back to Earth to be analyzed.