SMART-1 highlights and relevant studies on early bombardment and geological processes on rocky planets

B. H. Foing, G. D. Racca, J. L. Josset, D. Koschny, D. Frew, M. Almeida, J. Zender, D. Heather, S. Peters, A. Marini, L. Stagnaro, S. Beauvivre, M. Grande, B. Kellett, J. Huovelin, A. Nathues, U. Mall, P. Ehrenfreund, P. McCannon

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We present results from SMART-1 science and technology payload, in the context of the Nobel symposium on 'Physics of Planetary Systems'. SMART-1 is Europe' first lunar mission (Foing et al 2000 LPSC XXXI Abstract #1677 (CDROM); Foing et al 2001 Earth, Moon Planets 85 86 523 31 Marini et al 2002 Adv. Space Res. 30 1895 900 Racca et al 2001 Earth Moon Planets 85 86 379 95, Racca et al 2002 Planet Space Sci. 50 1323 37) demonstrating technologies for future science and exploration missions, and providing advances in our understanding of lunar origin and evolution, and general planetary questions. The mission also contributes a step in developing an international program of lunar exploration. The spacecraft, launched on 27 September 2003 as an Ariane 5 Auxiliary passenger to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), performed a 14-month long cruise using a tiny thrust of electric propulsion alone, reached lunar capture in November 2004, and lunar science orbit in March 2005. SMART-1 carried 7 hardware experiments (Foing et al 2003 Adv. Space Res. 31 2323, Foing et al 2005 LPI/LPSC XXXVI 2404 (CDROM)) performing 10 investigations, including 3 remote-sensing instruments, used during the cruise, the mission' nominal six-months and one-year extension in lunar science orbit. Three remote sensing instruments, D-CIXS, SIR and AMIE, have returned data that are relevant to a broad range of lunar studies. The mission provided regional and global x-ray measurements of the Moon, global high-spectral resolution NIR spectrometry, high spatial resolution colour imaging of selected regions. The South Pole-Aitken Basin (SPA) and other impact basins have been prime targets for studies using the SMART-1 suite of instruments. Combined, these should aid a large number of science studies, from bulk crustal composition and theories of lunar origin/evolution, the global and local crustal composition, to the search for cold traps at the lunar poles and the mapping of potential lunar resources. We present here SMART-1 results relevant to the study of the early bombardment and geological processes on rocky planets. Further information and updates on the SMART-1 mission can be found on the ESA Science and Technology web pages, at:
Original languageEnglish
Article number14026
JournalPhysica Scripta
Issue numberT130
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2008


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