France/European Union — ESA
SMART-1: Lunar Orbit

Mission Details

Mission Name: SMART-1
Mission Type: Lunar Orbiter
Operator: ESA (European Space Agency)
Launching State: France/European Union
Location: Lacus Excellentiae
Latitude: -34.4
Longitude: -46.2
Launch Date: 27 September 2003, 23:14:46 UT
Landing Date: 3 September 2006, 05:42:22 UT
Objects on or Related to Site:
Image Source: ESA


SMART, which stands for Small Missions for Advanced Research in Technology was a techonology test of new solar-electric propulsion, communication techniques and miniataurized science instruments.

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Heritage Consideration

SMART-1 made the first comprehensive inventory of key chemical elements in the lunar surface.

Object on or Related to Site

Object Name: SMART-1
Cospar: 2003-043C
Norad: N/A
Location: Precise location unknown or undisclosed.
Launch Date: 27 September 2003, 23:14:46 UTC
Landing Date: 3 September 2006, 05:42:22 UTC
Deployment: N/A
End Date: N/A
Function: Technology test.
Image Source: ESA


The Small Missions for Advanced Research in Technology (SMART-1), spacecraft was a technology demonstrator built by the European Space Agency (ESA) to test solar-electric propulsion and other deep space technologies on a mission to the Moon.

SMART-1 was the first European spacecraft to enter orbit around the Moon.
A second part of the mission focused on studying polar mountain peaks that are in perpetual sunlight as well as the dark areas of the lunar surface that might contain ice.

The spacecraft had a French-built Hall effect thruster (known as PPS®1350) derived from a Russian ion propulsion system originally designed by OKB Fakel, a Russian company that specializes in attitude control thrusters using ion and plasma sources. The thruster used xenon propellant to generate 88 millinewtons (mN) of thrust (about the weight of a postcard) and a specific impulse of 1,650 seconds.

The engine was powered by solar arrays which generated the 1,350 watts needed to power the ion engines.

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