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The SMART-1 Mission

The SMART-1 Mission

Publication date: 02 July 1998

Authors: Racca, G.D., Whitcomb, G.P. & Foing, B.H

Journal: ESA Bulletin
Volume: 95
Year: 1998

Copyright: ESA

The SMART-1 mission, to be launched at the end of 2001, is intended to demonstrate innovative and key technologies for deep-space scientific missions. Its use, for example, of solar electric propulsion as its primary drive mechanism will be a first for Europe and is essential in paving the way for future ESA projects with large velocity requirements, such as the Mercury Cornerstone mission. SMART-1 will also be a test case for a new approach in terms of implementation strategy and spacecraft procurement for the ESA Science Programme. The total life-cost budget allocated to SMART-1 is 50 MECU. This budget constraint imposes use of a cheap launch option, such as an Ariane-5 auxiliary payload launch into a standard GTO or a Rockot escape-trajectory launch. This in turn limits the planetary bodies that can be reached within a given short (1.5 - 2 year) overall mission lifetime, which do, however, include the Moon and Earth-crossing asteroids or comets.

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