ESA's SMART-1 satellite ready for lift-off

September 24, 2003

During the night of Saturday 27/Sunday 28 September, ESA's SMART-1 satellite will be launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe's spaceport at Kourou at 20:02 hrs local time (01:02 hrs Central European Summer Time, 23:02 hrs GMT).

SMART-1 is the first of a series of 'Small Missions for Advanced Research in Technology' designed to test key technologies for future spacecraft. It is Europe's first mission to the Moon. Among the new technologies to be tested is the solar-electric propulsion which will power the spacecraft to its target. SMART-1 will help solve such questions as how the Moon came into being and whether there is water there.

Media representatives in Europe can follow the launch and initial orbital operations at ESA/Darmstadt (ESOC) in Germany, which will be acting as the main European press centre, ESA/Noordwijk (ESTEC) in the Netherlands or ESA/Frascati (ESRIN) in Italy. At each site ESA specialists will be available for interviews.

Media representatives wishing to attend are asked to complete the attached reply form and fax it to the Communication Office at the establishment of their choice.

The ESA TV Service will provide live televised coverage of the launch and initial orbital operations with English commentary, between 00:40 and 02:00 CEST.

Satellite: Astra 2C at 19 degrees East
Transponder 57, horizontal, MPEG-2, MCPC
Reception frequency: 10832 MHz
Polarisation: Horizontal
Symbol rate: 22000 MS/sec
FEC: 5/6
Service name: ESA

Details of the transmission schedule and the various pre-launch Video News Releases can be found on http://television.esa.int.

On the ESA SMART-1 special website at http://www.esa.int/smart1 you can also find news, press releases, videos, images and more about the mission.
-end-


European Space Agency

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