The PoliBlog
Collective


Information

academic site


e-mail
c.v.
columns
legal
rss .92
2.0
The Collective
Sunday, September 3, 2006
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the NYT/ the AP: Europe’s Spacecraft Reaches Moon

The SMART-1 spacecraft slammed into volcanic plain called the Lake of Excellence at 1 1/4 miles per second right on time. The impact was captured by observers on Earth, and scientists hoped the resulting cloud of dust and debris would provide clues to the geologic composition of the site.'’That’s it — we are in the Lake of Excellence,'’ said spacecraft operations chief Octavio Camino as applause broke out in the European Space Agency’s mission control center in Darmstadt, Germany. ‘’We have landed.'’

[…]

During its months in orbit around the moon, the spacecraft scanned the lunar surface from orbit and took high-resolution pictures. But its primary mission was testing a new, efficient, ion propulsion system that officials hope to use on future interplanetary missions, including the BepiColombo mission to Mercury slated for 2013.

SMART-1 was launched into Earth’s orbit by an Ariane-5 booster rocket from Kourou, French Guiana, in September 2003. It used its ion engine to slowly raise its orbit over 14 months until the moon’s gravity grabbed it.

The engine, which uses electricity from the craft’s solar panels to produce a stream of charged particles called ions, generates only small amounts of thrust but only needed 176 pounds of xenon fuel.

Intriguing.

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: Space | |

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

The trackback url for this post is: http://www.poliblogger.com/wp-trackback-poliblog.php?p=10643

NOTE: I will delete any TrackBacks that do not actually link and refer to this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.



Take a Look At This!
Inquiries

Visitors Since 2/15/03
Blogroll

---


Advertisement

Advertisement


Powered by WordPress