Status Report

Ariane-5, flight-162 update

By SpaceRef Editor
July 15, 2003
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Europe’s first Moon mission spacecraft arrives in French Guiana

The spacecraft for Europe’s first mission to the Moon arrived in French
Guiana today aboard a cargo airliner, marking the start of preparations for
a unique scientific and technology demonstrator space flight that will begin
in August.

To be launched as one of three payloads on Arianespace’s upcoming Flight
162, the SMART-1 spacecraft will use an electronic propulsion system on its
trip to the Moon – where its instruments are to look for water in the form
of ice on the surface.

The SMART designation refers to the spacecraft’s role as the first of the
European Space Agency’s "Small Missions for Advanced Research in
Technology," which are to test new technologies for eventual use in larger

The SMART-1 shipping container carries a mission poster with the phrase:
"Europe goes to the Moon by solar electric propulsion," referring to the use
of a Stationary Plasma Hall-effect thruster as the spacecraft’s main
propulsion system.

Liftoff of Flight 162 with SMART-1, the Eutelsat e-BIRD spacecraft, and
INSAT-3E for the Indian Space Research Organisation is set for late August.

SpaceRef staff editor.