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European probe smashes into Moon after successful mission

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tocqueville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-03-06 07:16 AM
Original message
European probe smashes into Moon after successful mission
by Guy Clavel and Richard Ingham
1 hour, 23 minutes ago

PARIS (AFP) - One of the most innovative missions in space exploration has come to a dramatic close as Europe's first probe to the Moon crashed into the lunar surface giving stargazers around the world an astronomical fireworks display.

The European Space Agency's (ESA) revolutionary probe known as SMART-1 smashed into a plain called the Lake of Excellence on the southwestern side of the Moon's face, "producing a more intense flash than expected", the mission's chief scientist Bernard Foing said from ESA's base in Darmstadt, Germany.

The craft's suicide ride was watched live via a French-Canadian telescope based in Hawaii as it plunged to the surface on schedule at 0542 GMT at a speed of two kilometres per second (7,200 kmph), throwing up a cloud of dust.

Approaching with "a very shallow trajectory", SMART-1 "bounced on the surface, creating a kind of fireworks display that was brighter than if it had plunged straight down onto the lunar surface," Foing said.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060903/ts_afp/spacemooneu...

more here

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/index.html
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Cooley Hurd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-03-06 07:37 AM
Response to Original message
1. Breaking: Moon thrown out of orbit by European probe:
Edited on Sun Sep-03-06 07:37 AM by Cooley Hurd



John Koenig, commander of Moonbase Alpha overheard exclaiming, "Goddamn it! Not again!!!"
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blogslut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-03-06 07:38 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I'm skeered!
:tinfoilhat:
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