SMART-1 Osculating Orbit up to 28.02.05
This diagram shows the SMART-1 osculating orbit at several dates during the spiralling in to the final operational orbit.
- The orbital period is now of slightly less than 5 hours and the inclination almost precisely 90 deg.
- This orbital period means the spacecraft maintains the same relative position with respect to the Earth ground station.
- The perilune of around 471 km and argument of 286 deg means the lowest altitude is in the Southern hemisphere at about 74 deg latitude.
- The apolune altitude is on the opposite side at around 2880 km.
- The orbital elements will vary during the operational period under the effect of the Earth gravity perturbations. The perilune will slowly decrease to about 300 km and the apolune will increase to about 3000 km, while the argument of perilune will swing around the south pole giving the highest resolution coverage in the southern hemisphere.