SMART-1 Mapped Crash Scene of Upcoming LCROSS Impact

The European Space Agency’s SMART-1 team has released an image of the future impact site of NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS). LCROSS will search for water ice on the Moon by making two impacts into a crater named Cabeus A at the lunar South Pole. The impacts are scheduled for 11:30 am UT on 9 October 2009.
Bjoern Grieger, the liaison scientist for SMART-1’s AMIE camera, and Project Scientist Bernard Foing have searched through SMART-1’s database for images of Cabeus A, taken four years ago at conditions where solar elevation and direction were similar to those of LCROSS impact. The SMART-1 image is at high resolution as the spacecraft was at its closest distance of 500 km from the South Pole. The SMART-1 image of the LCROSS target was discussed last week at lunar sessions of the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) in Potsdam, Germany. More

The lunar north pole – SMART-1 mosaic

A new map obtained with SMART-1 data shows the geography and illumination of the lunar north pole. Such maps will be of great use for future lunar explorers. The lunar poles are very interesting for future science and exploration of the Moon mainly because of their exposure to sunlight. They display areas of quasi-eternal light, have a stable thermal environment and are close to dark areas that could host water ice – potential future lunar base sites. More