The SMART-1 project is being driven by a small, highly motivated team at the European Space Agency's European Space Research and Technology Centre, ESTEC, at Noordwijk in the Netherlands. The Project Manager is Giuseppe Racca, and the Project Scientist is Bernard Foing. The industrial prime contractor is the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) through its Science Systems Division. Some 15 subcontractors and suppliers from 6 European countries are involved in building the spacecraft. For the science and technology payload, co-investigators come from 9 European countries, from ESA/ESTEC and from USA.
Following the successful launch from Kourou by an Ariane-5, the satellite is controlled from the European Space Operations Centre, ESOC, in Darmstadt, Germany. There the Mission Operations Centre (S1MOC) is the primary interface with the spacecraft via ESA's ground station network. The Science and Technology Operations Coordination (STOC) of the mission will be located at ESTEC.
In addition to testing a key technology, the mission has a further much broader objective. The Moon, our closest neighbour in the Solar System, still arouses wide public fascination. Many people imagine that robots and then humans will in the not too distant future once again walk on its surface. For the moment it still holds many mysteries, notably how exactly it was formed. SMART-1 thus offers many opportunities to inspire youth and increase public awareness of the scientific interest of the Moon and of planetary exploration and space science and technology in general. It is a new adventure to be shared.