SMART-1 is an ESA technology development mission where solar electric propulsion was tested for the first time. SMART-1 was launched from Kourou on 27 September 2003 on-board an Ariane-5 launcher. After successfully spiralling towards the Moon using the solar electric propulsion for about one year, SMART-1 went into Lunar orbit in late 2004. SMART-1 spent almost two years in a 5-hour polar orbit around the Moon with the on-board instruments regularly making measurements, until making a controlled crash landing on the Lunar surface
in early September 2006. KTH participates as Co-Investigators in the SPEDE Langmuir probe and wave instrument. Much of the SMART-1 platform was built in Sweden with Swedish Space Corporation as the prime contractor. SMART-1 was specifically designed to test new propulsion technology needed for the ESA-JAXA mission BepiColombo to planet Mercury, although the new technology will, of course, be applicable to a wide range of future deep-space missions.
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More about the SMART-1 mission can be found on ESA's SMART-1 site. More about the SPEDE instrument can be found at the FMI SPEDE site.
For more information contact Lars Blomberg.