Ion Drive Spacecraft Also Takes Good Pictures

SMART-1, the European Space Agency ship equipped with ion drive propulsion, is now sending back great pictures from the lunar surface. SMART-1 is the first craft to return to the moon in over 5 years.

(Read more about SMART-1's science-fiction-turned-fact propulsion system at SMART-1's Ion Drive Not Science Fiction.)

The image shown below demonstrates that the AMIE (Asteroid-Moon Imager Experiment) cameras are in good working order.


(From Brianchon [mid-left] and Pascal [mid-bottom])

"We are conducting more survey test observations until the electric propulsion resumes from Feb. 9 to spiral down further towards the Moon," said Project Scientist Bernard Foing. "SMART-1 will arrive on Feb. 28 at the initial orbit with altitudes between 300 and 3,000 kilometers (186 and 1,860 miles) to perform the first phase of nominal science observations for five months."

Read more (and see more pictures) at Space.com.

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