How three remote-sensing instruments on SMART-1 will scan the Moon’s surface during one pass. Repeated passes will gradually fill in the picture.
Credits: ESA 2002. Illustration by Medialab.
How an ion engine works. Electrons attracted into the discharge chamber collide with xenon atoms from the propellant gas supply, making charged atoms (ions). Current-carrying coils, inside and outside the doughnut-shaped discharge chamber, sustain a magnetic field oriented like the spokes of a wheel. By the Hall effect, ions and electrons swerving in opposite directions in the magnetic field create an electric field. This expels the xenon ions in a propulsive jet. Other emitted electrons then neutralise the xenon, producing the blue jet.
This is clearly Europe´s time for interplanetary exploration. Having sent the first European mission to Mars, ESA is about to launch its first probe to the Moon. It is called SMART-1 and its goals are both technological and scientific. It is the first of a series of "Small Missions for Advanced Research in Technology".
On the one hand, SMART-1 will test new state-of-the art instruments and techniques essential to ambitious future interplanetary missions, such as a solar-electric primary propulsion system. On the other, SMART-1 will answer pending scientific questions, addressing key issues such as the Moon´s formation, its precise mineralogical composition, and the presence and quantity of water. These data will help scientists to understand the Earth-Moon system and Earth-like planets, and will also provide invaluable information when considering a long-lasting human presence on the Moon.
On 15 July 2003, SMART 1 was shipped to the European launch base in Kourou, French Guiana, where it is being prepared for its launch, due to take place on an Ariane-5 rocket on 29 August 2003 (Central European Summer Time).
Franco Bonacina | European Space Agency
MEMS chips get metatlenses
21.02.2018 | American Institute of Physics
International team publishes roadmap to enhance radioresistance for space colonization
21.02.2018 | Biogerontology Research Foundation
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
21.02.2018 | Life Sciences
21.02.2018 | Life Sciences
21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences