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- Title SMART-1 VNR
- Released 26/09/2003
- Language English
- Footage Type
- Copyright ESA
Smart 1 Video News Release
Europe is about to send its first probe to the moon. Named Smart 1, the spacecraft will hitch a ride with two commercial satellites onboard an Ariane 5 launcher.
For the first 16 months of its mission, Smart 1 will travel in an ever-widening orbit around the Earth. To do this, it will use a new type of solar-powered engine known as an ion thruster. This propels the spacecraft using a beam of charged particles. As Smart 1 journeys further from our planet it will gradually come into reach of the MoonÕs gravitational pull.
SOT Bernard Foing, Smart 1 Project Scientist: ÒWe will spiral out progressively Éup to the point where we will start to feel the attraction of the moon. Further we will have a spiral down, to be closer to the moon, and then we will reach the final science orbit, from where we can do all the observations that we want to take.Ó
Despite numerous Soviet and American missions, we know surprisingly little about the moon