The launch kicks off LADEE's mission to investigate the Moon's atmosphere. Yes, the "airless Moon" has an atmosphere. It is ten thousand billion times thinner than Earth's, but nevertheless there. Apollo astronauts actually saw it with their own eyes.
LADEE, short for "Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer," will circle the Moon for 100 days to assay the lunar atmosphere. Instruments onboard the spacecraft will look for signs of humidity, electrified dust, and atoms hopping across the lunar surface. A NASA video about LADEE previews the mission. www.spaceweather.com