SELenological and ENgineering Explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE) Topics

Topics List

Sep. 26, 2016 Updated
Full release of the SELENE (KAGUYA) High Definition Television (HDTV) data

All the data taken by the high definition television (HDTV) onboard the SELENE (KAGUYA) lunar orbiter have been released. The SELENE HDTV, developed in cooperation with JAXA and NHK, captured the full HD images all around the Moon. The raw data, extracted right from more than 600 HD images that the SELENE HDTV acquired over the period of 21 months, are now available as they are of high scientific value.
Image: The "earth-set" above the South Pole, where a number of countries are considering to build their base for lunar exploration. (C)NHK/JAXA

Full release of the SELENE (KAGUYA) High Definition Television (HDTV) data

Jul. 5, 2010 Updated
Global distribution of olivine from the lunar interior and its origin revealed by KAGUYA

Spectral Profiler onboard on Japanese lunar explorer SELENE/Kaguya revealed the global distribution of olivine on the lunar surface and its origin. This new finding provides us important insight into the Moon’s origin and evolution. This result was published in the British scientific journal "Nature Geosciences" on July 4, 2010.

Global distribution of olivine from the lunar interior and its origin revealed by KAGUYA

Nov. 2, 2009 Updated
Public release of KAGUYA data

JAXA started to provide data acquired by the lunar explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE) (L2 products) during its regular operation phase (from December 21, 2007, to October 31, 2008) to the public through the Internet.

The "KAGUYA 3D Moon NAVI" service, through which you can see KAGUYA data using a three-dimension geographic information system (WebGIS) via the Internet, has also commenced. The service enables you to enjoy KAGUYA's images and data in a more lively manner with a 3D map indicator function.
With this service, we expect to further promote scientific research on the moon as well as conduct a feasibility study of the moon's use by both domestic and overseas researchers apart from KAGUYA observation device team members. We continue to work on processing and calibrating observation data acquired during the post regular operation phase (Nov. 1, 2008, through June 11, 2009) to make it available to the public.

Oct. 9, 2009 Updated
"KAGUYA" provides data to NASA "LCROSS"

NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) launched with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), a NASA lunar explorer, will impact the Cabeus crater near the Moon's South Pole at 7:31:45 a.m. on October 9 (American Eastern Daylight Time or 8:31:45 p.m. Japan Standard time.) The process of the LCROSS impact is in two stages: firstly, its rocket's stage, which flew with the LCROSS, hits the Moon, then the LCROSS impacts the Moon after observing the rocket stage collision. The twin impacts will be observed by the LRO and ground telescopes. Through these impacts, NASA expects to detect water vapor in a large volume of dust blown up by the impacts.
JAXA provides the NASA LCROSS observation equipment team with data and information acquired by the KAGUYA's Terrain Camera and Laser Altimeter based on the agreement for cooperation concerning SELENE-LRO between JAXA and NASA. So, as you can see, the KAGUYA contributes to various Moon exploration activities.

Sep. 10, 2009 Updated
KAGUYA research report published in Nature

Results of the Multiband Imager onboard the lunar orbiting satellite "SELENE" (Kaguya) were published in the British science journal "Nature" on September 10 (British Standard Time). As a result of examining the central peaks, walls, and other parts of 69 craters, the Multiband Imager observation instrument team clarified for the first time in the world that anorthosite (*) consisting of nearly 100 percent anorthite is widely distributed in the lunar highland crust.
* A white igneous rock rich in minerals called anorthite made of calcium, aluminum, silicon, and oxygen is called anorthosite.

Jul. 22, 2009 Updated
KAGUYA provides data to "Moon in Google Earth"

Through collaboration between Google and JAXA, 3D images of the moon's surface can be seen on the "Moon in Google Earth" using data observed by the Laser Altimeter (LALT) and Terrain Camera (TC) of the KAGUYA. In addition, you can also find some images taken by the KAGUYA's high definition television camera from certain points on the moon's surface.
*For accessing "Moon in Google Earth," the latest Google Earth has to be installed.
(Image: Moon in Google Earth)

Jun. 30, 2009 Updated
Operation completion of OUNA (VRAD Satellite)

The sub-satellite "OUNA" (VRAD Satellite) of the Lunar Explorer "KAGUYA" has continued its calibration data acquisition that was necessary for improving the resolution accuracy for the gravity field after the maneuvered falling of its main satellite KAGUYA on June 11.
As the calibration data acquisition was completed, JAXA stopped sending signals to finish its operation at around 9:08 p.m. on June 29 (Japan Standard Time.)
(Photo: JAXA stopped sending signals to OUNA)

Jun. 19, 2009 Updated
Last shots taken by KAGUYA's HDTV, TC and other camera

JAXA released final still images taken by the High Definition Television (HDTV) of the lunar explorer "KAGUYA," which was maneuvered to be dropped onto the Moon's surface on June 11.

We also provided a 3D movie compiled based on observation data captured by the Terrain Camera (TC) about 12 minutes prior to its landing on the Moon, and the last observation data of the Multi-band Imager during the second last revolution ahda of the last one before hitting the Moon.

We plan to hold a public event "Fly me to the Moon in AKIBA" to commemorate the completion of the KAGUYA mission in Akihabara (Tokyo) on July 18 and 19. Please come and join us.

Jun. 11, 2009 Updated
KAGUYA dropped onto Moon's surface

The lunar explorer "KAGUYA" was maneuvered to be dropped around 80.4 degrees east longitude and 65.5 degrees south latitude onto the Moon at 3:25 a.m. on June 11 (Japan Standard Time.) The KAGUYA carried out global observations of the Moon for 17 months since its launch on September 14,2007.
We are now asking people all over the world to provide us with images of the collision flash generated when the KAGUYA hits the Moon's surface, if someone successfully captures this feat.
The KAGUYA's observation data will be released through the Internet from Nov. 1.

May 21, 2009 Updated
KAGUYA to be dropped onto the moon's surface on June 11 as observations completed

The KAGUYA, who carried out its regular operations for about 10 months and post-operational observations for about 7 and half months, is scheduled to be maneuvered to be dropped around 80.4 degrees east longitude and 65.5 degrees south latitude on the moon's front-side surface at 3:25 a.m. on June 11 (Japan Standard Time.) As the KAGUYA's expected landing position is in the shade on the Moon, we many be able to witness some flash from its collision; therefore, we are now informing all related organizations both in Japan and overseas of its falling time and location.
* Based on the latest analysis of the orbit as of June 10, we updated the KAGUYA's falling time and location.
* Please note that the KAGUYA's falling time and location are subject to change as we further analyze its orbit and conditions.

Apr. 8, 2009 Updated
"KAGUYA" to be dropped onto the Moon in June

The lunar explorer "KAGUYA," which is now in the post operational phase, has been carrying out observations of the Moon from an altitude of 50 km since February 1, 2009. From now on, it will lower its altitude to 30 km, a Moon perigee, to continue observations. Upon completing observations, the "KATUYA" will be controlled to be dropped on the front side of the Moon around June 10. We are now studying the possibility of holding a public event for the "KAGUYA" in July.

Feb. 18, 2009 Updated
"KAGUYA" successfully captured Earth's diamond ring

On Feb. 10 (JST), the lunar explorer “KAGUYA” successfully took an image of the moment when the Earth looked like a diamond ring by its onboard high definition camera. The moment came when a penumbral lunar eclipse occurred and the view of the Sun from the KAGUYA was mostly covered by the Earth, thus the earth looked like a diamond ring. This is the first time that this phenomenon was shot from the Moon. (Image: (C) JAXA/NHK)
* A penumbral lunar eclipse is a phenomenon in which the Sun, Earth and Moon line up in tandem, hence the moon is in the Earth's penumbra, or, when you look from the Moon, the Sun is partially covered by the Earth (partial eclipse.) When the phenomenon occurs, the volume of light from the Sun to the Moon decreases, thus the Moon surface looks darker when you look it from the Earth.

Feb. 13, 2009 Updated
KAGUYA (SELENE) special edition research reports published in Science Magazine

Four KAGUYA research reports using observation data from the Terrain Camera onboard the KAGUYA and a perspective titled "Seeing the Missing Half" were published as part of a KAGUYA special edition in Science Magazine dated February 13, 2009.

The relay satellite "OKINA (RSTAR)" made an impact on the lunar surface at 19:46 p.m. on February 12, 2009 (JST), and the four-way Doppler measurement mission was successfully completed.

Oct. 9, 2008 Updated
KAGUYA's high vision Camera captures "Full Earth-rise"

The lunar explorer "KAGUYA" acquired images of "the full earth rise and set" through its onboard high definition camera on September 30 (Japan Standard Time) following its full earth image shooting in April. Full earth images can be taken only twice a year when the Moon, Earth, Sun and KAGUYA perfectly line up.

You can also enjoy KAGUYA observation images including movies with detailed explanations at the "KAGUYA Image Gallery" site. Please have a look and register.

May 20, 2008 Updated
The "halo" area around Apollo 15 landing site observed by Terrain Camera on SELENE(KAGUYA)

JAXA reported on the "halo" generated by the Apollo 15 lunar module engine exhaust plume that was detected in the data from Terrain Camera (TC) image.
This was an image processed by the SELENE mission instrument team from the observation data of the Apollo 15 landing site on the moon (the foot of the Apennine Mountains encircling the Mare Imbrium close to Hadley Rille). This is the world's first report on the detection of the "halo" through observations after the end of the Apollo program.

Through the produced three-dimensional image of the same landscape as that of the picture taken by the Apollo 15 crew, the spatial accuracy of the TC observation was verified. The three dimensional view of the TC clearly shows the layers of lava flows that erupted approximately 3 billion years ago in the upper part of the Hadley Rille.

Apr. 16, 2008 Updated
Gravity Anomaly detected by using 4-way Doppler observation data from the RSTAR (OKINA) (RSAT)

JAXA announced a new finding of a gravity anomaly for both the near side and far side of the Moon by using 4-way Doppler observation data from the RSTAR (OKINA) with the main orbiter, the KAGUYA.
Until now, the gravity anomaly of the far side of the Moon has not been understood well. The gravity anomaly, which was obscure before, has been clearly revealed through observations by the Kaguya mission. For instance, the gravity anomaly of a basin on the far side is found to be characterized by a negative anomaly in a ring like the Apollo basin. On the other hand, the gravity anomaly of the basin on the near side is uniformly positive over the region such as with the Mare Serenitatis. Thus, the clear difference in gravity anomaly on the near side and the far side has been newly discovered and this fact brings a different story about the structure of the underground and the history of the evolution of the far side and near side of the Moon.

Apr. 11, 2008 Updated
KAGUYA (SELENE) Image Taking of "Full Earth-Rise" by HDTV

The lunar explorer KAGUYA initially captured the right-side waned "Earth-rise" in November 2007 with its high-vision camera, but this time, it succeeded in capturing the "Full Earth-rise" without any wane. This is the first time that a high-vision image of the "Full Earth-rise" has been captured from space, 380,000 kilometers away from Earth.
To capture the Full Earth, the Moon, Earth, Sun and KAGUYA's circulating orbits have to fall into a straight line. This peculiar positioning occurs only 2 times a year.

Apr. 9, 2008 Updated
KAGUYA creates topographical map of the Moon 10 times more accurate than before

Using the Laser Altimeter (LALT) aboard the Lunar Explorer KAGUYA, JAXA acquired data covering the entire Moon’s surface and produced a topographical map of the Moon in cooperation with the National astronomical Observatory of Japan and the Geographical Survey Institute.

The LALT aboard the KAGUYA acquired the altitude data on the entire Moon, including the polar regions (above longitude 75 degrees), where other Lunar explorations had never investigated before. The number of measurement points is over 6 million (as of end of March, 2008), which exceeds 1 digit more than that of the former model Unified Lunar Control Network 2005 (ULCN 2005). From now on, the density of measurement points will increase through continued observations and a topographical map with even greater accuracy is anticipated.

Dec. 21, 2007 Updated
KAGUYA (SELENE): Shifting to Regular Operations

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is pleased to announce that the operation mode of the lunar explorer, KAGUYA (SELENE), was shifted to regular operations from its initial verification on December 21, 2007 (Japan Standard Time) as we were able to acquire satisfactory verification results for all fifteen observation missions. JAXA had been conducting an initial functional verification of the KAGUYA onboard equipment for about two months since the KAGUYA was injected into a lunar orbit at an altitude of about 100 km on Oct 18, 2007. From now on, we will perform observation of the Moon's surface for about ten months to acquire data on "Moon Science" and other studies.

Nov. 28, 2007 Updated
Terrain Camera provides unique 3D images of Moon

JAXA has made detailed images of the Moon’s surface using observation data acquired by the Terrain Camera (TC) onboard the KAGUYA. In a global first, JAXA composed three-dimensional images and a moving image with a very high aerial resolution of 10 meters. The images include the Polar areas on the Moon.
You can observe small bumps, mounds and craters on the Moon’s surface in a three-dimensional manner that had been invisible to date. (Photo: (c) JAXA/SELENE)

Nov. 13, 2007 Updated
'Earth-rise' and 'Earth-set' images were taken by the KAGUYA

The onboard high definition camera of the moon explorer "KAGUYA," which is under initial functional verification, successfully acquired the world’s first high definition images of an "Earth-rise" and "Earth-set." It was also the world’s first HD images of the Earth from about 380,000 km away in space.
Image: (C) JAXA/NHK

‘Earth-rise’ and ‘Earth-set’ images were taken by the KAGUYA

Nov. 12, 2007 Updated
KAGUYA and OKINA successfully observed the gravity field of the Moon's backside

On Nov. 6 (Japan Standard Time), a direct observation test of the gravity field on the backside of the Moon was carried out using the “KAGUYA”, which entered the Moon’s orbit (at about an altitude of 100 km), and the “OKINA (Relay Satellite),” which traveled in the Moon’s oblong orbit (at an altitude of 2,400 km x 100 km.)
The test was part of the function verification, and we have confirmed that the observation was successfully performed. It was the world’s first direct observation (four-way Doppler) of the gravity field of the Moon’s backside.

*Four-way Doppler Observation: measurement method through four lines of communications (Usuda station --> OKINA --> KAGUYA --> OKINA --> Usuda station)

Nov. 7, 2007 Updated
KAGUYA successfully takes images of the moon using HDTV camera!

The "KAGUYA," which is currently undergoing initial functional verification, successfully acquired image data using its onboard high definition TV camera (HDTV).
It is the world’s first image taken by the HDTV from 100 km away from the Moon.
Image: (C) JAXA/NHK

Oct. 31, 2007 Updated
KAGUYA deployed LMAG mast and LRS antennas

The "KAGUYA" (SELENE,) flying around the moon, successfully extended the Lunar Magnetometer (LMAG) mast and Lunar Radar Sounder (LRS) antennas, and deployed the Upper Atmosphere and Plasma Imager (UPI.)
Photo: LMAG mast and LRS antenna shot by the monitor camera to confirm the separation of two baby satellites

Oct. 21, 2007 Updated
"KAGUYA" moves to regular control mode

The lunar explorer “KAGUYA” (SELENE), which successfully separated its two baby satellites, has been shifted to the regular control mode to observe the Moon's surface by having the observation equipment face the moon at all times.
From now on, the satellite will move to the initial functional verification phase to check out its onboard equipment until mid December. After that, it will start regular observations.
Photo: Moon’s surface shot by the monitor camera of the main satellite from the regular observation orbit.

Oct. 12, 2007 Updated
KAGUYA releases VRAD satellite
"OKINA" and "OUNA" were selected as the nicknames

The lunar explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE) released one of its onboard baby satellites, the VRAD satellite, at 1:28 p.m. on Oct. 12 (Japan Standard Time.)
"OKINA" and "OUNA" were respectively chosen as nicknames for the Relay satellite and the VRAD satellite in relation with Princess KAGUYA from the Japanese old tale "Taketori Monogatari" (The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter.)
The KAGUYA will further lower its apocynthion altitude to be injected into the circular orbit at an altitude of 100 km.

Oct. 9, 2007 Updated
KAGUYA took images of the Moon and released the Rstar

On October 9, the lunar explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE) released one of its onboard baby satellites, the Relay satellite (Rstar,) at 9:36 a.m.
(Japan Standard Time) In addition, the KAGUYA onboard camera to monitor its high-gain antenna captured images of the Moon's surface.
The KAGUYA will further lower the altitude of its apocynthion to separate the other baby satellite, the VRAD satellite.

Oct. 5, 2007 Updated
KAGUYA (SELENE) Lunar Orbit Injection was confirmed

JAXA performed the lunar orbit injection maneuver (LOI1) for the "KAGUYA" (SELENE) at 6:20 a.m. on October 4, 2007 (Japan Standard Time, JST) and have confirmed that the KAGUYA was injected into the lunar orbit.
We are now pleased to be able to report to you that we have safely delivered messages and signs that were collected from 412,627 people through the Wish upon the Moon Campaign to the Moon. We would like to express our profound appreciation again to all participants.
The "KAGUYA" is now flying in the lunar elliptical orbit at the apocynthion altitude of 11,741 km and pericynthian altitude of 101 km. From now on, it is scheduled to release the Relay satellite first, then the VRAD satellite.

Oct. 1, 2007 Updated
Lunar Explorer KAGUYA (SELENE)
Successful Image Taking by the High Definition Television (HDTV)

JAXA and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) have successfully taken high definition moving images through the KAGUYA (SELENE) for the first time.
The images were taken by the KAGUYA's onboard High Definition Television (HDTV), which was developed by NHK for space use. It is the first high-definition image shooting of the Earth from so deep in space - about 110,000 km away from the Earth - in human history.

Sep. 14, 2007 Updated
Launch Result of the KAGUYA (SELENE) by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13 (H-IIA F13)

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the Lunar Orbit Explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE) by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13 (H-IIA F13) at 10:31:01 a.m. on September 14, 2007 (Japan Standard Time, JST) from the Tanegashima Space Center.
The launch vehicle flew smoothly, and, at about 45 minutes and 34 seconds after liftoff, the separation of the KAGUYA was confirmed.

Sep. 11, 2007 Updated
Launch Postponement of the KAGUYA(SELENE) / H-IIA F13

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency would like to announce that we have decided to postpone the launch of the Lunar Orbit Explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE) by H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13 (H-IIA F13) as adverse weather conditions are expected during the scheduled countdown operations starting from one day prior to the launch day.

The new launch date will be September 14 (Fri,) 2007 (Japan Standard Time, JST.) The launch time is scheduled for 10:31:01 a.m. (JST.)
We will re-examine the weather and other conditions tomorrow for the launch on the 14th.
The launch was previously scheduled for September 13 (Thu,) 2007 (JST.)

Aug. 15, 2007 Updated
New Launch day of "KAGUYA"

The launch of the Lunar Orbit Explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE) by H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13 (H-IIA F13) was rescheduled for 10:35:47 a.m. on September 13 (THU), 2007 (Japan Standard Time) after replacement work of parts in the two onboard baby satellites of the "KAGUYA" was successfully completed. We plan to broadcast a live launch report on the launch day. Please enjoy it.

Jul. 20, 2007 Updated
Launch Postponement of the KAGUYA (SELENE)

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency would like to announce that we decided to postpone the launch of the Lunar Orbit Explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE) by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13 (H-IIA F13.)
The launch was originally scheduled on August 16, 2007 (Japan Standard Time, JST.)
The new launch date will be announced as soon as it is determined.

- Launch Postponement of the KAGUYA (SELENE) (Press Release)

Jun. 18, 2007 Updated
"KAGUYA" (SELENE) debuts at Tanegashima

On June 18, 2007, the lunar explorer “KAGUYA” (SELENE) was introduced to the media at the Second Spacecraft Test and Assembly Building at Tanegashima Space Center.
The KAGUYA, which is carrying many messages submitted to the “Wish upon the Moon” campaign, is going to have final adjustments ahead of the launch.
We are still accepting applications from organizations that can support the KAGUYA’s mission.

Jun. 13, 2007 Updated
Launch day is set! Special site is open!

The launch day and time of the lunar explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE) and the "H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13" is set at 9:30:48 a.m. on August 16, 2007. We have opened a Special Web Site for the launch. We will carry the latest news on the "KAGUYA" and the "H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13" on these special web pages, so please check them regularly.

- Launch of KAGUYA/H-IIAF13 Special Site

Jun. 6, 2007 Updated
"KAGUYA" selected as SELENE's nickname!

The nickname for the lunar explorer SELENE, which was solicited from the general public, has been selected as the "KAGUYA." We appreciate the many applications we received.
In addition, a Special Web Site for the "KAGUYA /H-IIA Launch Vehicle No.13" will be open for the launch.

- Project Site

Dec. 1, 2006 Updated
SELENE "WISH UPON THE MOON" Campaign

JAXA invites you to send your name and message to be delivered to the Moon. The campaign aims to make people feel more familiar with the Selenological and Engineering Explorer (or Moon explorer) "SELENE" project. Your names and messages will be delivered to the Moon on the "SELENE."

This is a worldwide campaign in cooperation with The Planetary Society of Japan and The Planetary Society of the U.S.A.

We can accept names and messages until February 28, 2007. We are looking forward to many entries.

- SELENE "Wish upon the moon!"Campaign

Oct. 16, 2006 Updated
Lunar exploration satellite "SELENE" make its appearance

On Oct. 13, the lunar exploration satellite, Selenological Engineering Explorer (SELENE), introduced itself to the public at the Tsukuba Space Center. The SELENE is 2.1 meters both in length and width, 4.8 meters in height, and three tons in weight including its two sub-satellites (each of which is about 50 kg.) The satellite is scheduled to be launched by an H-IIA launch vehicle from the Tanegashima Space Center in the summer of next year. It then will circulate on a lunar orbit 100 km above the moon for a year to elucidate the mystery of the lunar origin and development by observing the distribution of elements and minerals on the surface of the moon, its geographical features, surface structure, and gravity and magnetic fields in details.

+ SELENE (ISAS)

Jun. 9, 2006 Updated
Symposium entitled "Countdown SELENE - New Generation in Lunar Exploration-" to be held

We are going to have a symposium called "Countdown SELENE ?New Generation in Lunar Exploration-" at Keidanren Hall in Otemachi, Tokyo, on July 31. At the symposium, we will give not only a detailed explanation of the SELENE mission but also report on the preparation status of the launch, which is scheduled in a year, as well as discuss future lunar exploration and utilization plans. Some representatives of overseas space organizations will lecture on the latest lunar exploration projects. In addition, we plan to have a panel discussion inviting specialists in various areas including a planet scientist, astronomer, novelist, ceramic artist, and engineer. We are hoping to inform as many people as possible about the SELENE mission, which is a lunar orbiting satellite for exploring the origin and development of the moon, as well as show JAXA? commitment to future moon probes. Please join us.

+ Poster
+ Event details
+ SELENE (ISAS)

Apr. 1, 2005 Updated
Satellite system proto-flight test starts

The SELENE team has been carrying out a satellite system proto-flight test since February 2005 at the Spacecraft Integration and Test Building (SITE). Currently, electric functions are being tested as installation of the onboard equipment onto the satellite structure panels progresses. After completing all onboard equipment installations, we will move onto a satellite integration test.

Photo 1: System proto-flight testing
The onboard equipment is being installed by opening the structure panels. The black boxes are the equipment, and the silver shielded strings are harnesses for transmitting electric signals between equipment.

Photo 2: Mission equipment (the antenna part of the Lunar Radar Sounder)
This is the antenna part of the observation equipment for the moon surface structure. The protruded part on the right hand side is deployed to be a 15-meter antenna in length. The SELENE is equipped with four antennas to form a cross dipole antenna.

Photo 3: Mission equipment (High Definition Television Camera)
This is a high definition television camera developed by NHK to be loaded onto the SELENE. It is expected to capture an image of the Earth observed from the moon and of the lunar surface.


Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3

Feb. 15, 2005 Updated
Unit environment tests are underway to prepare for system PFT

The SELENE project team is currently performing unit by unit performance and environment tests on each onboard device in preparation for the system proto flight test (PFT). The tests are to evaluate and verify if the satellite system can endure the flight environment, such as vibrations or noise at the time of liftoff, as well as heat and vacuum conditions in space in order to function properly. For this purpose, we are using a test facility that can simulate the space environment at the Spacecraft Integration and Test Building (SITE) at the Tsukuba Space Center.

In this report, we would like to inform you of the test results on two small satellites that compose the SELENE, and the High Gain Antenna for sending moon observation data to the Earth.

- Between May and June, and in Aug., 2004, mass property tests for the "Relay Satellite (Rstar)" and"VRAD satellite (Vstar)" were carried out at the Small-sized Satellite Test Building. Photo 1 is of the mass property measurement of the Vstar.

- Between Sep and Oct., 2004, a thermal vacuum test on the High Gain Antenna (HGA) was held in the 13-meter diameter space chamber at the SITE. Photo 2 is of the HGA set in the chamber.

- In Oct., 2004, an acoustic test on the Rstar was held at the acoustic test facility at the SITE. (Photo 3)


(Photo:1)
(Photo:2)
(Photo:3)

Feb. 8, 2005 Updated
System test completed on the lunar orbiter

A system test on the moon orbiter was conducted between August 2003 and March 2004 at the Spacecraft Integration and Test Building (SITE) at the Tsukuba Space Center. The moon orbiter is the core satellite of the three satellites that compose the SELENE.
The test was to evaluate the comprehensive function of the satellite system by installing all onboard equipment into the structure. We conducted the following tests.

(1) Satellite bus interface verification (mechanical and electric performance)
(2) Mission equipment interface verification (mechanical and electric performance)
(3) Comprehensive operation check
(4) Mass property test (photo)
(5) Electromagnetic field interference test
(6) Magnetic test
(7) Microphonics test (*1)
(*1) This test was to make sure that micro vibrations caused by moving devices such as a motor do not affect the observation equipment. The satellite was slung up by a crane so that vibrations will not be transmitted through the floor.

We were able to sort out issues for the next phase based on data acquired in the test. A unit environment test is scheduled next to evaluate the environmental adaptation of each onboard equipment, then we will move on to the system proto flight test (PFT)

Feb. 9, 2004 Updated
Moon Symposium

A symposium called "Potential of space development on the moon and Japan" was held on January 23 at Keidanren Hall in Tokyo. 470 seats of the hall was not enough, and many people participated standing. We reaffirm people's high interest toward moon probing. Current and future world and Japanese moon exploration plans were introduced at the symposium, and participants actively discussed the future plans at the panel discussion not only from the technological point of view, but also based on economic and cultural prospects.
Photo : Moon Symposium

Oct. 28, 2002 Updated
Test underway on SELENE's Thermal Test Model

A Thermal Vacuum Test is being conducted on the Thermal Test Model (TTM) of the SELENE at the Spacecraft Integration and Test Building of the Tsukuba Space Center since mid October, 2002.
In this test, the TTM is placed inside the 13-meter space chamber simulating space environment if the satellite has sufficient durability ageinst temperature fluctuations in a state of vacuum.
This test will be continued until early November, 2002.

Photo:(Left)The SELENE's TTM (Right)TTM with the space chamber in the background

(Left)The SELENE's TTM (Right)TTM with the space chamber in the background

Jun. 28, 2002 Updated
An exhibition of the SELENE Project was held at "The 2002 Japan Earth and Planetary Science Joint Meeting."

At the end of May, 2002, an exhibition of the SELENE project was held during "The 2002 Japan Earth and Planetary Science Joint Meeting" held at the National Olympics Memorial Youth Center in Yoyogi, Tokyo.

The exhibition included a 1/10 scaled model of the SELENE satellite, and various panels along with the introduction of the web site, "The Moon Station - The Portal of Lunar Exploration" and the handing out of soccer ball shaped Moon paper crafts.

Photo: The exhibition corner of the SELENE project

The exhibition corner of the SELENE project

Apr. 2, 2002 Updated
A vibration test on-board Laser Altimeter was conducted.

In late February 2002, a vibration test on-board Laser Altimeter was conducted.
This test may examine it's structural characteristics and environmental endurance when it is loaded on a rocket.
The results were good and we confirmed that there were no problems because of the vibrations from a launch.

Photo: The telescope of Laser Altimeter

The telescope of Laser Altimeter

Jan. 28, 2002 Updated
SELENE Mechanical Test Model (MTM) undergoing tests!!

Since October 2001, examinations on the SELENE (SELenological and ENgineering Explorer) MTM have been carried out at the Spacecraft Integration and Test Building at the Tsukuba Space Center.
These tests use a SELENE MTM made almost identically to its Flight Module (FM) to examine the satellite's structural characteristics and environmental endurance when it is loaded on a rocket.
The series of tests is due to finish in March, 2002.

Photo: The SELENE Mechanical Test Model (MTM)

The SELENE Mechanical Test Model (MTM)

Oct. 16, 2001 Updated
Tests conducted on SELENE's on-board small satellites

Tests for the Mechanical Test Models (MTMs) of SELENE's on-board relay satellite (Rstar) and Very Long Baseline Interferometer (VLBI) radio source satellite (Vstar) were conducted at Tsukuba Space Center between August and September 2001. During these tests, MTMs almost identical to their Flight Models' structure (FMs) were used to examine these satellites' structural characteristics and the environmental endurance when they are loaded on a rocket. The data from these examinations will be evaluated and reflected in the flight model designs.

Photos: The vibration test for Rstar (above) and the mass property examination for Vstar (below)

The vibration test for Rstar (above) and the mass property examination for Vstar (below)

Sep. 4, 2001 Updated
SELENE-B symposium was held

On July 17 2001, a SELENE-B symposium was held at The Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS). At first, SELENE was planned to have two missions of the observation on the Moon orbiter and the soft-landing experiment. The plan was modified to separate the soft-landing experiment on purpose of conducting more accumulated development in 1999. SELENE-B is planned to conduct this landing experiment mainly.
This symposium was dismissed successfully with the introduction of elemental technology research and the proposal of mission. We will start to make a proposal for the entire planning of SELENE-B.
(*)SELENE-B is temporary name.

Photo: Lecture in SELENE-B symposium, Exhibition of compact Rover

Lecture in SELENE-B symposium, Exhibition of compact Rover

Jul. 25, 2001 Updated
Total Dose Radiation Test for Spectral Profiler and Laser ALTimeter

On early July in 2001, the total dose radiation test was conducted for the test model of mission instruments (Spectral Profiler and Laser ALTimeter), which would be embarked on SELENE. This test aimed at acquiring the degree how much the sensor and materials of the onboard mission instruments would be degraded in space radiation environment. This result will be reflected in designing the flight model.

Photo: Test devices and materials

Test devices and materials

Jun. 23, 2000 Updated

With corporation of STA NAL, SELENE project is conducting Flying Test Bed (FTB) at Taikicho in Hokkaido, Japan to acquire basic technology concerned with lunar landing. FTB Captive Tether Test, (the test conducted by FTB suspended using a crane for the purpose of safety) which has been stopped being tested since March 28, 2000, started the test again from June 12 and we have finished its first Tether Test successfully.

Nov. 19, 1999 Updated

In SELENE project, we conducted the element test on landing gear.
The landing gear is very important part for its function in absorbing shock, which occurs in its soft landing on the lunar surface. In present test, we were able to obtain detailed data on the characteristic of this absorbing material, alumi-honeycomb core.
This result will be reflected to the design of landing gear of SELENE

Oct. 15, 1999 Updated

In SELENE project, we conducted the element test on landing gear. The landing gear is very important part for its function in absorbing shock, which occurs in its soft landing on the lunar surface. In present test, we were able to obtain detailed data on the characteristic of this absorbing material, alumi-honeycomb core. This result will be reflected to the design of landing gear of SELENE.

Jul. 26, 1999 Updated

Series:Explanation for SELENE Instruments
In the SELENE (SELenological and ENgineering Explorer) Project, it is expected that the instruments of the probe will provide better scientific results than ever, giving us more information for future utilization of the Moon.
We are going to explain about each observation instrument in this column.

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