Posts by cosmos

Global space news: ESA announces ‘Voyage 2050’ themes for the agency’s large-scale missions

In June, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced three themes that will guide the selection of their largest class of space mission for launch between 2035 - 2050.

探探探査: Ex-ex-exploration! The making of the ISAS rock group music video

At the start of 2021, Murakami Go was ready for a new challenge. As Project Scientist of Japan’s Mio orbiter that is currently travelling to Mercury as part of the joint BepiColombo mission with ESA, Murakami’s day was not lacking in important tasks. But the project he had planned for the next two months was a little different.

Global space news: NASA’s Juno photographs Ganymede

On June 7, the NASA Juno spacecraft captured two amazing close-ups of the surface of Jupiter's moon, Ganymede. The largest moon in the Solar System, Ganymede is a fascinating world due to its rare ability to produce a magnetic field and because it may possess all the requirements for life. Japan is therefore joining with the European Space Agency (ESA) to explore Ganymede and the neighbouring icy moons in the upcoming mission, JUICE.

Global space news: the conditions of planets around M-dwarf stars

In 2016, astronomers announced a thrilling discovery. A small planet had been discovered around the nearest star to the Sun, Proxima Centauri. The planet's orbit was just 11.2 days, but the small size and corresponding lower luminosity of Proxima Centauri compared to our Sun meant that this planet was in the habitable zone, receiving similar levels of radiation from its star as the Earth. So could the surface of our nearest neighbour actually be habitable?

Global space news: NASA’s Ingenuity flies!

On April 19, 2020, NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter took to the skies above the red planet for the first time. Our ISAS researchers share their impressions!

Why explore the moons of Mars?

“With MMX, we will study a tiny moon,” says Hyodo. “But this is not only about the moon, it is also about Solar System material and material from Mars.” Dr Ryuki Hyodo shares the science behind JAXA’s upcoming MMX mission to the Martian moons, and the unique features of this journey to Mars’s domain.

Helping to bring an asteroid home

Two weeks before Hayabusa2 was due to return to Earth, Caitlin Caruana feared it would all go wrong. Caruana is part of the Australian Space Agency’s (ASA) international engagement team and for the last six months of 2020, she was dedicating nearly all her time to ensuring that JAXA would be able to collect their spacecraft’s sample return capsule when it landed in Australia on December 6, 2020.

BepiColombo is set for science, as the spacecraft performs a Venus swing-by

On October 15, the ESA・JAXA BepiColombo spacecraft will swing-by Venus, using the gravity of our neighbouring planet to adjust its orbit en route to Mercury.

Ready for swing-by! BepiColombo will pass close to the Earth on April 10

On April 10, JAXA’s MIO Mercury orbiter will swing-by the Earth onboard the BepiColombo spacecraft. As the spacecraft receives a tug from the Earth’s gravity to assist the journey to Mercury, MIO will be testing its instruments on our planet’s magnetic field.

Creating a crater to constrain the age of an asteroid’s surface

An important science goal for the Hayabusa2 mission is to map the history of asteroid Ryugu. As a primitive carbonaceous asteroid from the early days of the Solar System, Ryugu’s life traces the movement of ices and organics; the ingredients for habitability.

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