Sunday, September 03, 2006

Europe lands on Moon with a bang

SMART-1, Europe's first mission on the moon, has landed with a bang. Literally. The spacecraft, which was designed to crash on the moon's surface, did so at a planned 1.25 miles/hour. The resulting dust cloud of the explosion was observed by scientists, who hoped that the dusts will give a clue on the composition of the area around the impact site.

SMART-1 was launched last September 2003 from the French space facility in Kourou. It uses an solar-cell-powered ion engine for propulsion.

More about SMART-1 here.

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