Press Release


Result of the Separation of the Relay Satellite (Rstar)
Moon Images Shot by the KAGUYA Onboard Camera

October 9, 2007 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) performed the separation operation of one of the onboard baby satellites, the Relay Satellite (Rstar,) of the "KAGUYA" (SELENE,) and the Rstar was released at 9:36 a.m. on October 9 (Japan Standard Time, JST). The KAGUYA is a lunar explorer launched by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13 (H-IIA F13) on September 14, 2007 (JST) from the Tanegashima Space Center. Both the KAGUYA and Rstar are confirmed to be in good health.

Images of the separation of the Rstar taken by the KAGUYA onboard camera are shown in Attachment 1.

In addition, Moon images taken by one of the KAGUYA's onboard cameras, the high-gain antenna monitor camera, are also available in Attachment 2.

You can also check this information on the following Special Site:

The Relay Satellite (Rstar):
an onboard baby satellite of the KAGUYA that is the first satellite that can observe the magnetic field of the backside of the Moon. The Rstar will observe the Moon's gravity field more accurately by using a method called "radio interference" with the other baby satellite, the VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometer) satellite.

Attachment 1

<Images of Rstar Separation>

Before separation
(On the left is the Rstar, and on the right is the VRAD satellite.) 
After separation
(The Rstar has been released and moving toward the upper left of the image. The right one, the VRAD satellite, is scheduled to be released on Oct. 12.)

Attachment 2

<Moon images taken by KAGUYA onboard camera>

The upper right dark area is ocean, the west rim of the Oceanus Procellarum.
(The image was taken around 2:50 p.m. on Oct. 5 (JST) about 1,500 km from the Moon.)
Almost the same area as the left image, but closer to the Moon
(The image was taken around 3:00 p.m. on Oct. 5 (JST) about 1,200 km from the Moon)
A boundary in the lower left is the line between the area that receives sunshine and the shaded area at around 80 degrees north latitude. It was too dark to observe the North Pole.
(The image was taken around 3:10 p.m. on Oct. 5 (JST) about 800 km from the Moon.)