content 16-January-2018 20:21:29

Fact Sheet

 Fast Facts


Launch date: 27-Sep-2003 23:14 UT
Mission end: 05:42:21.759 UT, 3 September 2006
Launch vehicle: Ariane-5
Launch mass: 367 kg
Mission phase: Archive
Orbit: Transfer orbit from Earth to Moon, then polar elliptical orbit around Moon for science operations.
Milestones: Testing and proving of an ion drive and miniaturised instruments, along with investigations of lunar geochemistry and a search for ice at the south lunar pole.

SMART-1 was used to test solar electric propulsion and other deep-space technologies, while performing scientific observations of the Moon. Among the scientific investigations, mission data will help to provide answers to questions about the origin of the Moon and to search for ice in the craters at the Moon's south pole. The mission ended on 3 September 2006 when the spacecraft, in a planned manoeuvre, impacted the lunar surface in the Lacus Excellentiae region.

Mission Objectives

Testing and proving of an ion drive and miniaturised instruments, along with investigations of the lunar geochemistry and a search for ice at the south lunar pole.

Mission Name

SMART is the abbreviation for Small Missions for Advanced Research and Technology.


Prime contractor Swedish Space Corporation, Solna, Sweden
Launch date 27 September 2003
Launcher Ariane-5 (SMART-1 was one of three satellites launched together on flight V162)
Launch mass 366.5 kilograms
Dimensions 1 cubic metre


Instrument Purpose Principal investigator institutes
EPDP To monitor the working of the propulsion system and its effects on the spacecraft G. Noci, Laben Proel, Italy
SPEDE To also monitor the effect of the propulsion system and to investigate the electrical environment of the Earth-Moon space W. Schmidt, FMI, Finland
KaTE To test more efficient communication techniques with Earth D. Heuer, Astrium GmbH, Germany
RSIS Use the KaTE and AMIE instruments to investigate the way the Moon wobbles L. Iess, University of Rome, Italy
OBAN Software to allow the spaceprobe to guide itself to the Moon F. Ankersen, ESA
AMIE To test a miniaturised camera and take colour images of the Moon's surface J. Josset, CSEM, Switzerland
SIR To search for ice and make a mineralogical mapping of the Moon U. Keller, Max Planck Institute für Aeronomie, Germany
D-CIXS To investigate the composition of the Moon M. Grande, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, United Kingdom
XSM To calibrate the D-CIXS data and study solar X-ray emission J. Huovenin, University of Helsinki Observatory, Finland


14-month transfer orbit from Earth to the Moon. The final operational science orbit is a polar elliptical orbit, ranging from 300 kilometres to 3000 kilometres above the Moon.

Operations Centre

Institute Location
Mission Operations Centre (MOC) ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany
Science and Technology Operations Coordination (STOC) ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands
Ground stations
Ground stations ESA deep space network around the world
Additional information
Foreseen operational duration 2-2.5 years
Costs 100 million euros at 2001 economic conditions (including launch, operations and part of the payload)


Last Update: 15 March 2013

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