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Solar System Exploration
SMART-1 Looks Back
SMART-1 Looks Back (click to enlarge)

SMART-1 Looks Back

The first picture of Earth taken by the SMART-1 spacecraft on 21 May 2004 from a distance of 70,000 kilometres.

The image shows from top left, Scandinavia, Denmark, United Kingdom and clear west and northern France. Southern France and Spain are at the
centre under cloud cover. North Africa is bottom right (in the full-resoltion image).

The image was taken by the Advanced Moon Micro-Imager Experiment (AMIE)
camera. This imaging system has been developed by the Space-X company in
Neuchatel, Switzerland.

The AMIE camera is a remarkably compact design, a package of dedicated
optics, electronics and mechanical interfaces that weighs only 450 grams.

Once in orbit around the Moon, AMIE will survey the lunar terrain using
visible and near-infrared light, providing clues about its chemical
composition and geological history.

"The image shows clearly that the AMIE camera works well, and that we
are really in space," says Principal Investigator Jean Luc Josset, Space-X.

"This picture is a great view of Earth seen as a planet," says ESA
Project Scientist Bernard Foing. "Further synoptic images of Earth
obtained during the cruise phase will be used to compare the signature
of geophysical processes with what we shall measure on the Moon."

Image Credit: European Space Agency

Credit: European Space Agency

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Last Updated: 19 Aug 2008