SMART-1 mission to the Moon: Status, first results and goals
Publication date: 02 Mar 2006
Authors: Foing, B.H., et al.
Journal: Advances in Space Research
Copyright: ElsevierWe present the first results from SMART-1's science and technology payload. SMART-1 is Europe's first lunar mission and will provide some significant advances to many issues currently active in lunar science, such as our understanding of lunar origin and evolution. The mission also contributes a step in developing an international program of lunar exploration. The spacecraft was launched on 27 September 2003 on an Ariane 5, as an auxiliary passenger to Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO), performed a 14-month long cruise using the tiny thrust of electric propulsion alone, reached lunar capture in November 2004, and lunar science orbit in March 2005. SMART-1 carries seven hardware experiments (performing 10 investigations, including three remote sensing instruments, used during the cruise, the mission's nominal six months and one year extension in lunar science orbit). The remote sensing instruments will contribute to key planetary scientific questions related to theories of lunar origin and evolution, the global and local crustal composition, the search for cold traps at the lunar poles and the mapping of potential lunar resources.