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SMART-2 will pave the way for ESA's ambitious Darwin and LISA missions
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- Title SMART-2 will pave the way for ESA's ambitious Darwin and LISA missions
- Released 18/02/2002 6:31 pm
- Copyright ESA 2001. Illustration by Medialab
The SMART-2 mission will consist of two satellites flying in accurate formation and is scheduled for launch in 2006. The goal of SMART-2 is to test the technology for two major ESA missions planned for the near future: LISA, aimed at detecting the predicted ripples in space-time generated by very massive objects such as black holes; and Darwin, whose ultimate goal is to search for Earth-like planets which could support life.
Since both missions require new, challenging technical solutions, SMART-2 is an essential intermediate step to reduce the technological risks they face.
SMART-2 was approved by the ESA Science Programme Committee (SPC) in November 2000. SMART stands for `Small Missions for Advanced Research in Technology', a family of missions designed to test technologies identified as critical to the success of the so-called `Cornerstone' missions. SMART-2 is the second of these missions.