Posts by cosmos

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.

The rocket you can launch from your laptop

With the Epsilon project, JAXA is aiming to significantly lower both the cost and preparation time needed for a rocket launch. It is an essential shift if space travel is to meet the demands from an increasing broader audience within industry and the private sector.

We’re going to the Martian moons!

ISAS@JAXA is excited to announce a new mission to Mars to explore the red planet’s two moons and bring back a sample of moon material to Earth.

Akatsuki returns from the dead

It is Dec. 7, 2015. We’re in Sagamihara, Japan, a little southwest of Tokyo. On a clear day like today, you can just make out the silhouette of Mount Fuji in the distance. We are standing outside of the control room of the Japanese Aerospace eXploration Agency (JAXA), watching as a spacecraft named Akatsuki is preparing for its arrival at Venus.

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