[meteorite-list] SMART-1 To Crash Into Lunar Surface In August

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Wed Feb 1 15:20:33 2006
Message-ID: <200602011919.k11JJEw27559_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


SMART-1 To Crash Into Lunar Surface In August
January 31, 2006

Esrange, Sweden (SPX) - The European Moon probe SMART-1, which was developed
by SSC for ESA, has been orbiting the Moon since November 2004. Its main mission,
to qualify an electric propulsion system, is completed, and the probe is now
making observations of the lunar surface using its onboard scientific

The first scientific results from SMART-1 will be published in
connection with an ESA event in February.

The natural effects of gravity from the Sun and the Earth will cause
SMART-1 to crash into the lunar surface in August this year. The
touch-down will occur at a flat angle near latitude 37 degrees south.
The crash, which will be observable by telescope from Earth, may stir up
dust or create other effects, providing valuable information about the
lunar surface.

Astronomers are invited to take part in observations of the crash

For the crash to be observable, the touch-down must take place on the
part of the Moon that is facing Earth. To enable this, ESA is
considering using the small remaining quantity of fuel onboard to modify
the spacecraft's orbit. At present, SSC's engineers are preparing the
necessary rocket impulses. ESA has also distributed a circular letter to
scientists to gauge their interest in these observations.

China and India training with SMART-1

Apart from making observations of the lunar surface from a gradually
lower orbit, SMART-1 will be used by Indian and Chinese ground stations
for radio control training for their future moon orbiters.
Received on Wed 01 Feb 2006 02:19:12 PM PST

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