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Orbital Characteristics Of SMART-1 Probe

Sun Sep 03, 2006 12:49 pm

I was surprised to read that European controllers were forced to adjust SMART-1's orbit to avoid crashing into a mile-high mountain on the Moon. I realize that the spacecraft's orbit had been lowered in preparation for its planned crash on the lunar surface, but I hadn't realized just how low its orbit had become.

Although technically I understand that orbits can be quite low, was anyone else surprised exactly how low it was?

Given that the Moon has no atmosphere, I do realize, intellectually, that there would be no friction that would make such a low orbit impractical.

Thanks for any comments.

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