Moon mission ends successfully for Smart 1

Sept. 3, 2006 at 5:59 PM

DARMSTADT, Germany, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- The surface of the Moon may become more tangible as Europe's lunar satellite, the Smart 1 probe, has successfully completed its mission.

The BBC reported Smart 1 has produced detailed maps of the Moon's chemical make-up from its 16-month mission.

Smart 1 reportedly was returning more pictures as it crashed in a controlled collision into the Lake of Excellence, spurring claps and cheers from controllers at the European Space Agency operations center in Darmstadt, Germany.

The Canada France Hawaii Telescope on Mauna Kea, in Hawaii captured a picture of a bright flash as Smart 1 crashed into the lunar surface at 7,2000 km/hr (4,500 mph).

"We know a lot about the Moon, but there are things we need to know more precisely if we are to embark on ambitious projects like those the U.S. has planned," Dr. Gerhard Schwehm, mission manager for Smart 1, told the BBC.

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