Monday night will mark the beginning of Europe’s space exploration, as a tiny spacecraft will start orbiting the moon.
On Monday, SMART-1 (the acronym stands for Small Missions for Advanced Research and Technology) will manoeuvre itself into lunar orbit and become the first European Space Agency spacecraft to reach &to=http://english.pravda.ru/main/2002/10/05/37771.html' target=_blank>the moon.
Smart-1 has been drifting away from &to=http://english.pravda.ru/science/19/94/378/14269_aliens.html' target=_blank>Earth in ever-increasing orbits, driven by a form of electrochemical propulsion called ion drive. It is now closing on the moon at 3km a second. On Monday night, its ion drive engines will ignite again and begin a slow, gentle push to take the spacecraft into orbit, reports Xinhua.
According to Ninemsn, professor Bernard Foing, ESA's chief scientist and SMART-1 Project Scientist, said at a briefing in London: "At the moment SMART-1 is only at the gateway. We are not yet there.
"Symbolically it's important, because it's the first time that Western Europe has a mission that is more attracted to the moon than the Earth."
The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) will be able to attack targets in Russia, including in Siberia, an unnamed official told a US-based publication