Paving the Way for Future Exploration...
The first European lunar mission was SMART-1. The spacecraft was launched on 27 September 2003 from Kourou as an auxiliary payload on an Ariane V launcher. Using a single Xenon ion thruster providing 70 mN of thrust, SMART-1 traveled 82 million km in a spiral trajectory to the Moon. On 15 November 2005, after a journey taking 13 1/2 months, SMART-1 was captured precisely into the intended polar lunar orbit. The trajectory is arguably the most advanced ever performed by a Deep Space Mission.
KeywordsEuropean Space Agency Lunar Surface Controller Area Network Electric Propulsion Spiral Trajectory
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- SMART-1 home page: http://sci.esa.int/smart