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ESA's "Not So Smart-1 Satellite" Crashes into Moon

by Robert D. Morningstar
(Copyright 2006, RDM*)

ESA's Not So Smart-1 Satellite Crashes into Moon

Europe's First Lunar Mission Ends With a Bang - AOL News:

European Space Agency crashes "Smart-1 Satellite" into Luna's "Lake of Excellence" to end 3 year-long Moon mission at a cost of $140 million.

"Controllers burst into applause as operations chief Octavio Camino announced, 'We have landed.'"

Later Camino said: "We did it very quickly,"... "We were under some stress."

As a pilot, I make a very fine distinction between "landing" and "crashing."

The brightness of the impact flash makes it look more like a nuclear bomb than simply a crash landing. The impact point appears to be directly into a set of "Doublets," unusual meteor impact craters which belt the lunar surface, always occurring in pairs of crater of nearly identical diameters. Hence, the name, "Doublets."

"The SMART-1 orbiter hit a lunar hillside at 4,475 mph."

I seriously have to question the wisdom of crashing an ion-powered spacecraft at high velocity into an area of presumed volcanic activity on the Lunar surface.

I think that the European Space Agency should rename the satellite and itself:
"Not So Smart-1."

Robert M*

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