SMART-1 has been the first of ESA's Small Missions for Advanced Research in Technology thought with the purpouse of testing new technologies that will eventually be used on bigger projects.
SMART-1 primary objective was to flight test Solar Electric Primary Propulsion. Another objective was to test new technologies for spacecraft and instruments.
The planetary objective selected for the SMART-1 mission was to orbit the Moon for a nominal period of six months. The spacecraft was planned to carry out a complete programme of scientific observations in lunar orbit.
SMART-1 was launched succesfully as an Ariane-5 auxiliary payload on 27 September 2003 and entered lunar orbit on 15 November 2004.
Among SMART-1 on-board instruments there was the AMIE camera.
AMIE (Advanced Moon
micro-Imager Experiment) is an ultracompact electronic camera
able to survey the terrain using visible and near-infrared light.
AMIE data will enable scientists to study the Moon's
texture once again. It measures visible light at a million points in a
field of view 5 degrees wide, and filters can select yellow light, red
light or very short infrared rays.
The SMART-1 mission
ended with a controlled
impact with the lunar surface. Impact occurred at 05:42.21.759 UT on 03
Approximate impact coordinates are 34.4 S, 46.2 W on the edge of Lacus
Mission Ending: The Crash on The Moon
This is an animation showing the scene of the
impact from the exposure just before the impact to ~130s later (~10 images). Each image is a
snapshot over 10s, with a gap of around 5s
between exposure. The expansion of the
dust cloud is clearly seen. The observations
were made with the WIRCam wide-field infrared camera.
Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope / 2006