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Fraser
2003-Dec-11, 05:02 AM
SUMMARY: The European Space Agency's SMART-1 spacecraft is continuing to function well on its long roundabout mission to the Moon. The spacecraft recently completed its 139th orbit and everything seems to be functioning properly, despite the recent solar storms that damaged a few other satellites. It's running its solar-powered ion drive full time now, and incrementally raising its distance with each orbit around the Earth. SMART-1 will reach its final orbit around the Moon in March 2005.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/smart-1_full_speed)

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

Haglund
2003-Dec-11, 11:21 AM
Clearly, this propulsion technology isn't the best choice for shortdistance missions (but then again the primary objectives is to improve the ion technology), I would rather like to see it implemented on a real longterm mission such as, perhaps, an interstellar probe. Imagine a probe accelerating for decades, perhaps centuries.

The Meal
2003-Dec-11, 05:13 PM
Originally posted by Parker@Dec 11 2003, 11:21 AM
Clearly, this propulsion technology isn't the best choice for shortdistance missions (but then again the primary objectives is to improve the ion technology), I would rather like to see it implemented on a real longterm mission such as, perhaps, an interstellar probe. Imagine a probe accelerating for decades, perhaps centuries.
Completely agreed, but a shake-down cruise within a few hundred thousand km of earth seems extremely prudent.

Baby-steps...

~The Meal

Haglund
2003-Dec-11, 11:02 PM
Very true, need to practice and develop the technology first. It should have a lot of potential in the future, I am sure.

larko_L
2003-Dec-12, 12:12 AM
;) i'm new here! but can anyone tell me which countries fund the euro space agency?

Haglund
2003-Dec-12, 05:15 AM
Originally posted by larko_L@Dec 12 2003, 12:12 AM
;) i'm new here! but can anyone tell me which countries fund the euro space agency?
Sure, the member states are: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, United Kingdom, Sweden and Switzerland. Many but not all are also members of the EU.

Website: http://www.esa.int