Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Moon News  

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

SMART-1 Set For Payload Commissioning

on route to Luna

Paris - Jan 19, 2004
The spacecraft is now in its 187th orbit, in good status and with all functions performing nominally. In order to fine tune the altitude of the apogee point, required to minimise the length of the eclipses due to occur in March, the ion drive is currently being used only when the spacecraft is around perigee. This strategy will last until the end of January.

Starting from early February the ion engine will not be used to generate thrust for a period of three weeks. This phase of the mission will be used to perform the scientific instrument commissioning. A series of observations of celestial targets with different instruments is being prepared and will be described in a future report.

Another milestone was reached this week: the mission commissioning results review was held at ESOC. This review was planned to be held as soon as the first mission phase, the exit of the radiation belts, was completed.

The results of the on-orbit verification of all the spacecraft subsystems were presented. All the subsystems have now been verified. However, some spacecraft functions have yet to be tested. This is because some are triggered by a failure scenario and others have not yet been needed.

A plan has been prepared to solve the few anomalies that are still affecting the spacecraft's smooth operations.

These include a software function to autonomously re-start the electric propulsion engine after an unexpected shutdown, a proper strategy to improve the performance of the star tracker that is affected by the combined effects of high temperature and radiation induced degradation, and a proper strategy to circumvent the occasional failures of the telemetry Reed-Solomon coding checksum.

Email This Article

Related Links
Search SpaceDaily
Subscribe To SpaceDaily Express
Mars News and Information at
Lunar Dreams and more

SMART-1 Finally Escapes the Radiation Belts
Paris (ESA) Jan 07, 2004
The spacecraft is now in its 176th orbit, in good status and with all functions performing nominally. The first mission target, namely to exit the most dangerous part of the radiation belts, has been achieved! The pericentre altitude (the closest distance of the spacecraft from the centre of the Earth) will reach the prelaunch target of 20 000 km on 7 January 2004.

  • President Bush Announces New Vision for Space Exploration Program
  • NASA Announces New Headquarters Management Alignment
  • Where's The Beef
  • Plan 3 From Outer Space: The Bush Budget Switch

  • Space mission will explore effect of Mars' gravity on mammals
  • Opportunity To Aim For Harder Sites If Next Airbag Landing Works
  • Golf Carts Today, Mini-Van In 2009?
  • Alliance Spacesystems Reaches Out To Mars With Robotic Arm Deployment

  • Boeing Selects Leader for Nuclear Space Systems Program
  • Boeing-Led Team to Study Nuclear-Powered Space Systems
  • Boeing To Build Space-borne Power Generator
  • New High-Purity Plutonium Sources Produced At Los Alamos

  • Planetary Survivor Strategy: Outeat, "Outweigh," Outlast!
  • Planet-Formation Model Indicates Earthlike Planets Might Be Common
  • New Evidence For Solar-Like Planetary System Around Nearby Star
  • Missing Link Sought In Planetary Evolution

  • Researchers Create First Ever Integrated Silicon Circuit With Nanotube Transistors
  • Tiny Nanowire Could Be Next Big Diagnostic Tool For Doctors
  • Researchers Discover Materials Retain Useful Properties At Nanoscale
  • Nanotechnology's Homeland Security Potential To Be Explored

  • SARS Coronavirus Part Bird, Part Mammal: Study
  • Chimp Genome Assembled: Draft Sequence Aligned With Human Genome
  • Solution To Hospital Infections Could Be In The Air
  • Space: A Bad Influence On Microbes?

  • Sea Launch Successfully Deploys Telstar 14/Estrela do Sul 1 to Orbit
  • Arianespace Maintains Pole Position In Civil Launch Market
  • Sea Launch Embarks on the First Mission of 2004
  • XTAR Selects Arianespace To Launch The XTAR-EUR Satellite

  • Announcing the Falcon V Launch Vehicle From SpaceX
  • Magnetic Bubbles In Space: A New Propulsion Concept?
  • Ion Engine Design Passes Key Nasa Test
  • New Composite Hydrogen Fuel Tank For RLVs Successfully Tested

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement