Feeds

ESA celebrates SMART's lunar smash

Deep impact?

Seven Steps to Software Security

Europe's first lunar probe made its crash landing yesterday in the Moon's Lake of Excellence region at 0542 GMT (0642 BST).

The European Space Agency said the landing was the conclusion of a very successful mission.

The SMART-1 probe was designed to test innovative space technologies, such as its ion-engine propulsion system. It also tested future deep-space communication techniques for spacecraft, techniques to achieve autonomous navigation, and miniaturised scientific instruments.

It has also carried out extended observations of the moon. Its analysis of the make-up of the lunar surface has posed questions that will eventually refine theories about how the moon was formed.

ESA says the mission has been worthwhile scientifically and technologically. ESA director of science professor David Southwood commented: "It seems that right now everyone in the world is planning on going to the Moon. Future scientific missions will greatly benefit from the technological and operational experience gained thanks to this small spacecraft, while the set of scientific data gathered by SMART-1 is already helping to update our current picture of the Moon."

The timing and location of the landing were carefully chosen to optimise the viewing conditions for observers on Earth. The Lake of Excellence was on the moon's dark side when the probe hit, gently lit by scattered Earth light.

ESA says the ground based observations went well. The France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT), a 3.6 metre optical/infrared telescope located atop the summit of Mauna Kea on Hawaii was watching the impact.

The flash of the impact, possibly caused by a puff of dust being thrown up by the probe smacking into the ground, seems to have lasted less than a second. The flash could also have been from the last of the spaceship's fuel escaping as it hit. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
Beancounters tell NASA it's too poor to fly planned mega-rocket
Space Launch System would need another $400m and a lot of time
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.