Akatsuki seeks the source of Venus’s extreme weather

Akatsuki may have discovered why Venus’s atmosphere rotates so fast. The reason may play a vital role in the habitability of Earth-sized exoplanets.

Save the date! Q&A ahead of the launch of BepiColombo to Mercury in October

Q&A with the ISAS Deputy Director General, Masaki Fujimoto, and BepiColombo MIO project scientist, Go Murakami, as we get ready for the BepiColombo launch to Mercury this October.

SPICA: A telescope to tell our history in the Universe

Last month, the European Space Agency (ESA) officially announced that SPICA was one of three missions being considered for its M5 program. A joint ESA-JAXA mission, SPICA is a space telescope that detects infrared radiation. But what can we learn from the heat signatures in the Universe?

Understanding the aurora: the Grand Challenge Initiative – Cusp

“The Northern Lights are movies,” says Yoshifumi Saito from the Division of Solar System Sciences at ISAS. “They show the activity of the Earth’s magnetosphere; the region of space where you can feel the our magnetic field.”

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."

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