Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

SMART-1's bridge to the future exploration of the Moon

09.03.2007
ESA's SMART-1 moon mission has become a bridge to the future of lunar science and exploration.

"SMART-1 data are helping to choose future landing sites for robotic and possible manned missions, and its instruments are upgraded and being flown again on the next generation of lunar satellites," says Bernard Foing, ESA SMART-1 Project scientist. "Even its spectacular impact campaign is helping NASA to plan their own moon crash."

SMART-1's mission lasted from launch on 27 September 2003, to its controlled impact on the Moon on 3 September 2006. During that time, the mission’s innovative approach to technology and science created new solutions to old problems that are now being carried forward to the next generation of lunar missions, in line with the recommendations of the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG).

The miniature camera, AMIE, weighed just 2 kilograms yet the images it returned are being used to choose possible landing sites for future missions. The choice of landing sites depends upon criteria such as the scientific importance of the area, the ease of landing and operation and, if it is to become a human base, the availability of lunar resources. SMART-1 has imaged Apollo and Luna landing sites, and potential possible landing sites for humans at the lunar poles.

To follow up the technological breakthroughs of SMART-1, ESA is providing three instruments for the Indian Moon mission Chandrayaan-1. Two are direct descendents from SMART-1: the infrared spectrometer, SIR2, and the X-ray spectrometer, C1XS. The third (SARA) is a precursor to an instrument that will fly on ESA's Bepi-Colombo mission to Mercury.

ESA and European scientists are also collaborating with the Japanese, who are currently preparing the large lunar spacecraft, Selene, which will launch this year carrying two subsatellites and 300 kilograms of sophisticated instruments.

During SMART-1's mission, ESA provided the Chinese with details of the spacecraft's position and transmission frequencies, so that the Chinese could test their tracking stations and ground operations by following it. This was part of their preparation for Chang'E 1, an orbiter due to be launched in October 2007.

SMART-1 experts are collaborating with NASA to prepare for Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) that will provide new imaging, radar and other key measurements needed for future exploration of the Moon. LRO is due to be launched at the end of 2008. ESA is sharing the experience of SMART-1's impact campaign to help prepare the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), which will be launched with LRO. The LCROSS shepherd spacecraft will watch the spent upper-stage of its rocket crash into a dark lunar crater, hopefully releasing water vapour and thus proving that ice exists on the lunar surface.

"Having flown SMART-1, we have now established collaborations with other countries that will help to take us into the future of lunar exploration," says Foing.

Bernard Foing explained SMART-1's legacy to the Symposium: "Why the Moon?" at the International Space University at Strasbourg, France, on 22 February 2007.

Bernard Foing | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/SMART-1/SEMEZ2N0LYE_0.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet
20.01.2017 | San Francisco State University

nachricht Molecule flash mob
19.01.2017 | Technische Universität Wien

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>