The launch of Hayabusa2Night side of Venus by AkatsukiThe Earth and Moon by Hayabusa2Earth Rise by KaguyaMercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO) and Mercury

The launch of Hayabusa2

Hayabusa2 was launched at 1:22:04pm (JST) on December 3, 2014 from the Tanegashima Space Center on board the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 26 (H-IIA F26)

Night side of Venus by Akatsuki

Akatsuki is studying the structure and movement of the Venusian atmosphere by combining data a different wavelengths from multiple cameras.

The Earth and Moon by Hayabusa2

Hayabusa2 snapped this image of our home planet and moon during its Earth swing-by at 3:46 (UTC) on November 26, 2015.

Earth Rise by Kaguya

From its orbit around the Moon, SELENE/Kaguya saw the Earth rise over the Lunar surface on April 5th, 2008.

Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO) and Mercury

Artist impression of the MMO probe from the BepiColombo mission orbiting Mercury as it explores the planet's magnetic field.


What are we up to at ISAS?

The CAESAR mission to collect a sample from a comet

“I’ve built my career on designing instruments you could put on the top of a rocket,” says Steve Squyres, Principal Investigator for the CAESAR mission. “But these all pale in comparison to what you can do in the laboratory.”

The X-factor: The collaboration between Hayabusa2 and OSIRIS-REx

“You cannot sign an international collaboration agreement and expect everything to just work,” says Heather Enos, Deputy Principal Investigator for the NASA OSIRIS-REx mission. “Each country will have different policies that the teams have to be pro-active in navigating.”

Facing the furnace: BepiColombo is getting ready to depart for Mercury

On July 6th, twin press conferences ran in the Netherland and Japan. It was the final chance to take a peek at BepiColombo; a joint mission between ESA and JAXA to explore our Solar System’s innermost world, Mercury. But what can we learn from a planet that orbits so close to the roaring inferno of our Sun?

At the threshold of a lunar renaissance: The SELENE mission, 10 years later

On September 14, 2007, the SELENE mission launched from Tanegashima Space Center to begin its one-year mission to understand the Moon’s origin, history, and resource potential for human exploration. SELENE, also known as Kaguya, was the largest lunar mission since Apollo, carrying 15 scientific instruments and two small microsatellites. After release from the main spacecraft, which orbited at an altitude of 100 km, the microsatellites entered elliptical orbits to provide communications for SELENE and enable accurate measurement of the Moon’s gravity field.

Completing the homework ASTRO-H left us

“Hitomi left us with homework,” explains Makoto Tashiro, sub-leader of the X-ray Astronomy Recovery Mission (XARM) pre-preparation team at ISAS. “I hope XARM will provide the solution."

Planetary Protection and Our Search for Life

From sample return with Hayabusa2 and the Martian Moons eXploration mission, through to our instruments onboard the ESA JUICE mission to the icy moons, we are tracing how water and organics flowed around the infant Solar System. Yet, visiting another world has serious risks. How can we ensure we do not contaminate our destination with microbes from Earth? Similarly, we may bring extraterrestrial life back to Earth that endangers our own environment.

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