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Waspie_Dwarf

Why LADEE Matters

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Why LADEE Matters

Earth’s atmosphere is critically important to all of us. In addition to providing us with air to breathe, it protects us from temperature extremes, harmful space radiation, and vast numbers of incoming meteoroids. The atmosphere is a very complex system that we are only beginning to understand. Gaining a better understanding of the atmosphere, how it protects us, and how we can protect it is in all of our interests.

In order to understand Earth's atmosphere and how it works, it is essential to study atmospheres under a wide range of conditions beyond Earth. Examining atmospheres on other planets allows this. For example, by studying the atmosphere of Venus, we learned about the role of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, and saw how it drives the temperature on Venus as high as 860 degrees Fahrenheit (460 degrees Celsius).

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