This was my first time seeing a spacecraft in flight with my naked eye. A very cool experience; one I hope everyone gets to have! It looked like a bright dot that emerged from behind the obstruction of trees and houses looking out my bedroom window. It appeared to gradually rise as it moved to the left across the sky. Very clearly not a plane, in a fiery yellow-orange glow.
This mission is sending a satellite to orbit the Moon and collect information about the Moon’s thin atmosphere and dust from the rock below.
A company called Orbital Sciences Corporation has partnered with NASA to build and launch the Minotaur V rocket with NASA’s LADEE (pronounced like ‘laddie,’ not like ‘lady‘) orbiter on top. LADEE stands for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.