NASA will use the unmanned LADEE explorer to study the moon's delicate atmosphere and learn about similar space bodies.
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LADEE will perform a technology demo while orbiting the moon. The spacecraft will exhibit the use of lasers, instead of radio waves, to achieve broadband speeds when communicating with Earth, as part of the Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration (LLCD). NASA is determined to enter a new era of space communications by using laser technology. LLCD consists of a space terminal that will reach lunar orbit as a payload on LADEE, and a ground segment that includes three terminals that have been positioned in locations around the world.