From: LARRY KLAES (ljk4_at_msn.com)
Date: Tue Aug 12 2003 - 10:00:14 PDT
----- Original Message -----
From: Larry Kellogg
Sent: Saturday, August 09, 2003 12:59 PM
Subject: [lunar-update] Europe's First Moon Probe Prepares For Launch
Coming up the launch of SMART-1 to the Moon by way of an Arian 5, passenger
number 3, doors opening, next stop, the Moon.
This will not be the fire cracker push of a Trans Lunar Injection (TLI)
rocket burn for a few minutes but rather the soft whisper of continuous push
from an ION engine.
Rather than go immediately from a circular orbit to an elliptical one, to a
circular one ( HOMANN TRANSFER - TLI -
http://liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov/academy/rocket_sci/satellites/hohmann.html ) it
will just continue to push in an ever larger circular spiral and eventually
get to the Moon where it will have to be caught by the Moon's gravitational
attraction and then slow down to circularize around the Moon.
There will be adjustments as the Moon goes around EARTH as well, and is
nearer and helps pull you out. Then there will be a point where the Moon is
pulling too much and you will need to slow down. This will take some time
and is different from the 105 hour trip that Lunar Prospector took after the
TLI kick. - LRK -
SMART-1 has been a proposal for some time and now finally going to go. Will
see if it takes 17 months as was mentioned back in 2000.
16-month transfer orbit from Earth to the Moon. The final operational
science orbit is a polar elliptical orbit, ranging from 300 kilometres to 10
000 kilometres above the Moon.
EAS PRESS RELEASES - LRK -
Scientific & Technical web site. - LRK -
SMART-1 is the first of ESA's 'Small Missions for Advanced Research in
Technology'. It will head for the Moon using revolutionary propulsion
techniques and carry a battery of miniaturised instruments. As well as
testing new technology, SMART-1 will make the first comprehensive inventory
of key chemical elements in the lunar surface. It will also investigate the
theory that the Moon was formed following the violent collision of a smaller
planet with Earth, four and a half thousand million years ago.
Europe goes to the Moon using ion propulsion
30 July 2003 You can follow SMART-1's journey by clicking on the numbers.
(SEE IMAGES ONE WEB SITE - LRK -)
A spiral pathway to the Moon
Artical images - LRK -
The webcast will begin 20 minutes before the scheduled liftoff time, and
will end 50 minutes after launch.
European Space Agency
Paris, 8 August 2003
Europe's first Moon probe prepares for launch
Europe's first probe to the Moon, SMART-1, is about to begin a unique
journey that will take it into orbit around our closest neighbour powered
only by an ion engine, which Europe will be testing for the first time as
main spacecraft propulsion.
The European Space Agency's SMART-1 spacecraft was delivered to Kourou,
French Guiana, on July 15 and is currently being prepared for launch atop
an Ariane 5 during the night from August 28 to 29. The launch window will
open at 20:04 local time (01:04 on August 29 morning CEST) and will remain
open for 26 minutes.
The 367 kg spacecraft will share Ariane's V162 launch with two commercial
payloads: the Indian Space Research Organisation's Insat 3E and Eutelsat's
e-Bird communication satellites. The smallest spacecraft in the trio,
SMART-1, will travel in the lower position, inside a cylindrical adapter,
and will be the last to be released.
A generic Ariane 5 will be in charge of placing these three payloads in a
standard geostationary transfer orbit from which each will begin its own
journey towards its final operational orbit. SMART-1, powered by its ion
engine, will reach its destination in about 16 months, having followed a
long spiralling trajectory.
SMART-1's ion engine will be used to accelerate the probe and raise its
orbit until it reaches the vicinity of the Moon, some 350,000 to 400,000
km from Earth. Then, following gravity assists from a series of lunar
swingbys in late September, late October and late November 2004, SMART-1
will be "captured" by the Moon's gravity in December 2004 and will begin
using its engine to slow down and reduce the altitude of its lunar orbit.
Testing breakthrough technologies and studying the Moon
SMART-1 is not a standard outer space probe. As ESA's first Small Mission
for Advanced Research in Technology, it is primarily designed to
demonstrate innovative and key technologies for future deep space science
missions. However, once it has arrived at its destination, it will also
perform an unprecedented scientific study of the Moon. SMART-1 is a very
small spacecraft (measuring just one cubic metre). Its solar arrays,
spanning 14 metres, will deliver 1.9 kW of power, about 75% of which will
be used for the probe's 'solar electric' propulsion system.
In its role as technological demonstrator, SMART-1's primary goal is to
test this new solar electric propulsion system. This is a form of
continuous low-thrust engine that uses electricity derived from solar
panels to produce a beam of charged particles that pushes the spacecraft
forward. Such engines are commonly called ion engines, and engineers
consider them essential for future, long-range space missions. SMART-1
will also test miniaturised spacecraft equipment and instruments, a
navigation system that, in the future, will allow spacecraft to
autonomously navigate through the solar system, and in addition to a new
short-wavelength communication system, a space communication technique by
means of which SMART-1 will try to establish a link with the Earth using a
Once it enters into a near-polar orbit around the Moon in January 2005,
SMART-1 will also become a science platform for lunar observation. SMART-1
will search for signs of water-ice in craters near the Moon's poles,
provide data to shed light on the still uncertain origin of the Moon, and
reconstruct its evolution by mapping its topography and the surface
distribution of minerals and key chemical elements.
SMART-1 will be the second ESA-led planetary mission to be launched in
2003 after Mars Express in June.
For more information please contact:
ESA Communication Department
Media Relations Office
Tel: +33(0)15369 7155
Fax: +33(0)1 5369 7690
For more information about SMART-1 and the ESA Science Programme visit:
For more information about ESA visit: http://www.esa.int
DO VISIT ESA SCIENCE SITE - LRK -
http://www.esa.int/export/esaSC/ Flash version
http://www.esa.int/export/esaSC/index.html?noflash No Flash
AND LOOK AT THEIR INTRODUCTION PAGE - LRK -
25 June 2003
Welcome to the new ESA Science General Public and Media web site!
This site has been made for you: the general public and the media. It is
designed to give you all the information you need to know about our Space
Science Programme, or just to satisfy your curiosity!
There are many new features through which you can share the excitement of
our European science adventure in space. There is a Media Centre with the
latest news stories, press releases and factsheets, a multimedia archive
hosting high-quality images, video clips and 'sounds'. Other new features
will be introduced in the next few months.
Our user-friendly language, together with a clear navigation system, a
distinction between media information packages and general public features,
will make this site useful, entertaining and instructive.
If you want the more technical details of our Space Science Programme and
missions, use the direct entry point to the Science and Technology web site
(http://sci.esa.int) offered on these pages.
We hope you will enjoy using our web site as much as we have enjoyed
building it! If you visit us regularly, there will be some nice surprises...
ESA PORTAL - INDEX - LRK -
Europe’s first Moon probe prepares for launch
8 August 2003 ESA PR 50-2003. Europe’s first probe to the Moon, SMART-1, is
about to begin a unique journey that will take it into orbit around our
closest neighbour, powered only by an ion engine which Europe will be
testing for the first time as main spacecraft propulsion.
Full story http://www.esa.int/export/esaCP/SEMQ6OYO4HD_index_0.html
And then to the Moon - LRK -
>From SpaceRef News Letter - LRK -
-- Europe's first Moon probe prepares for launch
"The European Space Agency's SMART-1 spacecraft was delivered to
Kourou,French Guiana, on July 15 and is currently being prepared for launch
atop an Ariane 5 during the night from August 28 to 29. The launch window
will open at 20:04 local time (01:04 on August 29 morning CEST) and will
remain open for 26 minutes."
Solar Electric Propulsion Technologies Being Designed for Orbit Transfer
BY SUN POWER TO THE MOON - 4 meg pdf file - 20 page brochure - LRK -
WHAT THE MIND CAN CONCEIVE, AND BELIEVE, IT WILL ACHIEVE - LRK
Thanks for looking up.
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