Subject line: Study of the lunar surface.
Responsibility of the mission: ESA
Date of launch: September 27th, 2003
End of mission: September 3rd, 2006
SMART-1 is the first European space shuttle that travelled and orbited around the Moon. This is the first mission of the ESA Small Mission for Advanced Research in Technology programme, for advanced research in technology. It used solar-electric propulsion to travel to the Moon, carrying a set of miniaturized instruments onboard. As well as experimenting new technologies SMART-1 analysed the chemical elements of the lunar surface, providing key data to study the theory according to which the Moon was formed after the violent collision of a smaller planet with Earth, 4 and a half million years ago. Launched on September 27th, 2009, SMART-1 arrived in the lunar orbit on November 15th, 2004. After reaching its scientific goals, the mission ended on September 3rd, 2006.
The main objective of the mission was searching for evidence of lunar water ice and building a three-dimensional map of the lunar surface.