A China-Europe joint space mission, Solar Wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer (SMILE), has successfully completed a satellite-rocket test, according to the National Space Science Center (NSSC) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
A Chinese satellite team from the SMILE mission recently traveled to the European Space Research and Technology Center (ESTEC) of the European Space Agency (ESA) to conduct a prototype satellite-rocket joint test, completing the interface docking, satellite separation, and impact tests, said the NSSC.
The Chinese satellite team shipped the three modules of the SMILE prototype satellite to ESA in December 2022 and completed the final assembly, integration, and preparation work at the ESTEC.
It was the first on-site exchange activity of the two sides' teams since the SMILE mission-level prototype design review conducted in January 2020.
The SMILE is a collaborative science mission between CAS and ESA to build a deeper understanding of the Sun-Earth connection by observing the dynamic interaction between the solar wind and Earth's magnetosphere.
Besides CAS and ESA, companies including Arianespace and Airbus also participated in the test.
The SMILE mission team will go to Spain in April and Germany in May and September to conduct tests with its European counterparts. The mission satellite is scheduled to go into space in 2025.