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ESA's Lunar SMART-1 Mission Extended

SMART-1 artwork
SMART-1 artist's impression


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The European Space Agency's SMART-1 mission, in orbit around the Earth's Moon, was extended by one year, pushing back the mission end date from August 2005 to August 2006. The extension by one year of the mission will provide opportunities to extend the global coverage, compared to the original six-month mission, and to map both southern and northern hemispheres at high resolution. The new orbit will also be more stable and require less fuel for maintenance. The extension also gives the possibility to perform detailed studies of areas of interest by performing stereo measurements for deriving topography, multi-angle observations for studying the surface 'regolith' texture, and mapping potential landing sites for future missions.

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