View Full Version : Discussion: SMART-1 is Doing Well

2003-Oct-21, 09:10 PM
SUMMARY: The European Space Agency's SMART-1 spacecraft has completed its 50th orbit of the Earth; operating its ion engine for more than 560 hours. The engine can only fire for half of the orbit because the spacecraft needs to raise its orbit until it reaches the Moon. ESA controllers have performed a series of tests on the spacecraft, and almost everything seems to be working perfectly - there's a minor problem with its star-tracker. The spacecraft is expected to reach the Moon by March 2005, when it will begin mapping surface minerals and ice.

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2003-Oct-22, 12:17 AM
I checked back on the related stories to see if the manufacturer of the ion engine was mentioned but did not see one. I would appreciated knowing if NASA was at all involved. Thanks.

2003-Oct-23, 08:11 AM
I still believe that they are taking the long way round, but its good to see how ion technology can be applied. I'm sure that using an ion engine to get to the moon would use less fuel than a standard rocket/fuel.