SMART-1 to impact Moon in August…?

Contributed by
Mar 2, 2006

This is interesting: according to this article on, SMART-1, a probe orbiting the Moon, will impact the lunar surface in August. The impact speed is high enough to create a fair-sized explosion, throwing a lot of dust and rocks from the Moon's surface. This can be observed from Earth, and we can learn more about the composition of that part of the Moon.

This was done before, with Lunar Prospector. They were hoping to hit ice, which would be detectable in the flash. Unfortunately, none was seen. Maybe the Europeans will fare better with SMART-1. I hope so. It's like science for free! Well, not really free-- but it's extra science; literally, more bang for your buck.

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