Europe's first mission to the Moon, SMART-1.
SMART-1 Launched to the Moon.
Sep 27, 2003 Europe's first mission to the Moon, SMART-1, lifted off successfully on board an Ariane-5 rocket Saturday evening. The rocket launched from the Guiana Space Centre at 2314 GMT (7:14 pm EDT) carrying SMART-1 and two other satellites. The spacecraft has deployed its solar arrays, and is currently undergoing an initial checkout of its systems to make sure that everything's working properly. Its ion engine will begin accelerating the spacecraft towards the Moon on October 4th, but it's going to be a long trip - it won't arrive until March 2005.
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