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SMART stop

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10:04am, September 20, 2006

The European Space Agency's first mission to the moon ended with a deliberate bang on Sept. 3. The planned crash of the SMART-1 spacecraft, which had photographed the moon and mapped its mineral and elemental composition from lunar orbit since November 2004, created a flash caught by dozens of telescopes on Earth.

A newly installed infrared camera on the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, located on Hawaii's Mauna Kea, pinpointed the crash and for at least 75 seconds, observed the expansion of the dust cloud generated by the high-speed impact.

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