NASA will use the unmanned LADEE explorer to study the moon's delicate atmosphere and learn about similar space bodies.
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The neutral mass spectrometer (NMS) instrument will measure variations in the lunar atmosphere over multiple lunar orbits with the moon in diverse space environments. NMS, which is mounted to the spacecraft body, is capable of detecting a wealth of gases -- such as argon -- that may point to geophysical processes at the moon. Together with UVS's ability to measure both the atmosphere and dust, and LDEX's ability to directly measure dust particles, NMS completes LADEE's payload of science tools.
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