American Journal of Geophysics, Geochemistry and Geosystems
Articles Information
American Journal of Geophysics, Geochemistry and Geosystems, Vol.4, No.3, Sep. 2018, Pub. Date: Dec. 25, 2018
A Mystery of Astronautical History: Additional Collision with Moon by SMART-1
Pages: 29-37 Views: 542 Downloads: 249
[01] Tianxi Sun, Environmental Protection Bureau, Suzhou, China.
On September 3rd this year, the 12th anniversary of SMART-1's additional lunar collision, we commemorate it today and investigate its motives, which makes great sense for the study of astronautical history. SMART-1, a satellite orbiting the Moon with a solar ion thruster and the Europe's first lunar probe, was launched in September 2003 and reached low-Moon orbit over the Moon in November 2004. Since then, it entered its final orbit between 470 and 2,900 kilometres from the surface of the Moon and carried out a large number of scientific experiments in this orbit. On September 3, 2006, 05:42 GMT, SMART-1 struck the Moon under the control of scientists. It is necessary to point out that there is no such a mission as impacting the Moon in the original mission of SMART-1. The European Aeronautics and Space Administration announced on February 15, 2005 that it would extend SMART-1’s mission for one year until August 2006. People can't help asking: why was SMART-1 still working (additional collision with Moon hitting by SMART-1) on Sept. 3, 2006, after the August 2006 deadline? What happened to the extremely rigorous aerospace operations to make such a major modification and change! This mysterious veil was lifted by a piece of information relating to Astronomy History published in this article, based on an original email from Dr. Raj Sivalingam in ESA. It is evident that the additional collision with Moon hitting by SMART-1 did closely related to author’s open letter to NASA and author’s email to European Aeronautics and Space Agency. The additional lunar collision 12 years ago highlighted NASA and ESA’s scientific spirit, their tolerance for different academic views, and especially ESA’s persistence of repeating verification for major scientific issues using all possible. Although the additional hitting the Moon didn’t lead to a definitive conclusion as to whether the Moon actually had water ice or not, it highlighted the scientific community’s desire for truth.
SMART-1, Additional Impact with Moon, Verification, Water Ice, NASA, European Aeronautics and Space Agency
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