|Tuesday / 29 August 2006|
SMART-1 Scientists Prepare End of Orbital Phase, Continuation of Mission. According to Smart-1 Project Scientist Bernard Foing, the end of the orbital phase will occur on 3 September, but that will not be the end of the mission. After impact with the Moon, the mission continues with data and research analysis at ESA's Space Operations Center (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany. Other activities include wrapping up lessons learned and carrying the heritage for future lunar and planetary missions. On 2 September, there will be a Science and Technology Working Team (STWT) briefing on logistics and spacecraft impact events. Presentations will cover AMIE imaging from last orbits, ground-based and radio-coordinated observations, and future missions. In the afternoon, a Smart-1 plenary session will discuss the mission's status and plans for final orbits. Other topics will include how to conduct joint data analysis, archive the results, and create publications. Late in the evening, scientists will make contact with the probe and verify that no premature impact has take place. Early in the morning on 3 September will be an optional night watch for the last orbit before Smart-1's nominal impact. The last perilune before impact takes place at 02:36 (Darmstadt time), at which time scientists will check if the orbiter has survived unknown topography. ESOC opens for media questions at 06:30, followed by checking links with global observatories. Impact is expected at 07:41. At 09:15, there will be a wrap-up of actions from the various instrument teams, including AMIE imaging and coordinated observations of the impact. A Smart-1 dinner with all teams is scheduled to occur at 19:00 at a nearby hotel. The STWT will hold a press conference on 4 September at 11:00. Foing notes there will be a special session on Smart-1 results on the last day of 'Europlanet #1: European Planetary Science Congress' in Berlin, Germany (18-22 September).