"We have lift-off for SMART-1!"
SMART-1, Europe’s first science spacecraft to be sent to the Moon, was flawlessly launched during the night of 27/28 September 2003.
The Ariane-5 launcher lifted off from Europe’s spaceport at Kourou, French Guiana, at 8.14 p.m. local time (1.14 a.m. CEST on 28 September), with three spacecraft on board which included ESA’s SMART-1.
Apart from testing a new 'ion drive' propulsion system, SMART-1 has another mission objective - lunar science. When it arrives at the Moon in sixteen months, it will begin the second phase of the mission, carrying out exciting studies of our nearest neighbour using the latest techniques.
Click here for more information about the science that SMART-1 will carry out.
Last update: 1 October 2003