ESA's "Not So Smart-1 Satellite" Crashes into Moon
by Robert D. Morningstar
(Copyright 2006, RDM*)
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."