Doug EllisonAug 22, 2007

Europlanet : Simulating the SMART-1 impact

by Doug Ellison in Potsdam

Today is about the Moon - the main conference hall has a series of presentations throughout the day - the first half being mainly about the European orbiter SMART-1. Mark Burchell (who spoke about Stardust yesterday) talked about simulating the impact of SMART-1 into the lunar surface at the end of its mission. Using the same gas gun that was used to understand the Stardust collection process, he and his team simulated the comparatively low speed, very low angle of incidence impact for SMART-1

Light Gas Gun

Light Gas Gun
The light gas gun used to simulate impacts of comet material into aerogel, and SMART-1 into the Moo

At 10 degrees, the crater is fairly round and a central peak forms, slightly

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