View Full Version : Discussion: SMART-1 Nearly Captured By the Moon

2004-Oct-18, 04:58 PM
SUMMARY: The European Space Agency's SMART-1 spacecraft fired its ion thruster nearly continuously last week to set itself up to be captured by the Moon's gravity on November 13. The spacecraft launched just over a year ago, and it's been using its ion engine to make larger and larger orbits around the Earth. Once it gets captured, it'll use the thruster to decrease its orbit until January 15, 2005 when it will get as close as 300 km to the Moon. The probe will then spend another six months making a comprehensive survey of chemical elements on the lunar surface.

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