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 Astronomers release most complete ultraviolet-light survey of nearby galaxies
18.05.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht A quantum entanglement between two physically separated ultra-cold atomic clouds
17.05.2018 | University of the Basque Country

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: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>