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?

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. This close approach presents a unique opportunity to examine the thick Venusian atmosphere and its space environment through three different JAXA missions simultaneously, providing an unprecedented view of a terrestrial planet that evolved very differently from the Earth.

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.

Are primitive asteroids “fluffy”?

The first photographs from Hayabusa2 of the surface of asteroid Ryugu revealed a treacherous landscape, with large boulders carpeting the asteroid to form a rugged topology. Yet when the spacecraft turned on its thermal infrared imager (TIR), it saw a surprisingly homogenous surface in the thermographic images.

Is the history of Mars etched in the grains of its moons?

The ISAS・JAXA Martian Moons eXploration Mission (MMX) will bring home a sample from the moons of Mars. New results from ISAS researchers suggest this sample may not only uncover the origins of the moons, but also reveal the evolution of the habitat on Mars itself.

Measuring the waves through Titan: ISAS builds a seismometer for NASA’s Dragonfly mission

In June this year NASA announced the selection of Dragonfly for the agency’s New Frontiers program. The mission will fly an innovative multi-rotor drone through the atmosphere of Titan, investigating multiple sites on the Saturn moon. The goal is to study chemistry similar to that which supported the development of life on the early Earth. Onboard Dragonfly will be a seismometer designed here at ISAS・JAXA to investigate the interior of one of the most Earth-like locations in the Solar System.

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