Europe reaches the Moon

Artist's impression of the SMART-1 mission
5 November 2004

ESA PR 59-2004. During the night of 15 to 16 November, ESA’s SMART-1 will reach the first of its closest approaches to the Moon after a 13-month journey. Then the spacecraft will begin adjusting its orbit around the Moon in preparation for a scientific investigation of its surface, starting in January.

During the long cruise, consisting of a spiralling orbit around the Earth that brought the spacecraft close to the lunar capture point, SMART-1 achieved all the technology demonstration goals of the first part of the mission.

The exciting final manoeuvres to enter a stable lunar orbit, the challenges of the journey and the results of the SMART-1 technology tests paving the way for future interplanetary missions, will be presented at a press conference on 16 November at ESA/ESOC in Darmstadt (Germany), starting at 08h00.

Media representatives can also follow the press conference by videoconference from ESA/HQ in Paris, France, ESA/ESTEC (Noordwijk – the Netherlands) and ESA/ESRIN (Frascati – Italy). At each site ESA specialists will be available for interview.

Please return the attached accreditation form to the establishment of your choice.

Europe reaches the Moon – press conference

Programme:

08:00 Welcome, G. Winters, D/OPS
08:05 Introduction, D. Southwood, D/SCI
08:10 SMART-1 is at the Moon. Cruise records from the small technology genius, G. Racca, Smart-1 Project Manager, ESTEC
08:20 Ion-propulsion test: a successful technology demonstration, G. Saccoccia, Head of the ESA Propulsion Division, ESTEC
08:25 Manoeuvring Smart-1: a new era in space navigation, O.Camino, Smart-1 Mission Control Manager, ESOC
08:30 New technologies for the space science of the future, B. Foing, Smart-1 Project Scientist, ESTEC
08:40 Conclusions: glorious times for planetary exploration at ESA, D. Southwood, D/SCI
08:45 Q & A and splinter interviews
10:00 End of event

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