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Today's Moon


Missions to Moon - SELENE

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SELENE | image: http://sse.jpl.nasa.gov

Country : Japan
Research Org : Japanese Space Agency (JAXA)
Mission launch : September 2007


SELENE will carry 13 instruments including imagers, a radar sounder, laser altimeter, X-ray fluorescence spectrometer and gamma-ray spectrometer to study the origin, evolution, and tectonics of the Moon from orbit. The 2000 kg launch-mass spacecraft will be carried by an H-2A rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center. The spacecraft consists of three separate units: the main orbiter, a small relay satellite, and a small VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry) satellite. The orbiter is a rectangular box carrying the scientific instrumentation, measures about 2.1 m by 4.2 m, and has a mass of roughly 1600 kg. The relay satellite is an octagonal prism and will be used to transmit communications from the orbiter to Earth. The VLBI satellite is the same shape as the relay satellite and will be used to conduct precise investigations on the position and precession of the Moon.

SELENE will take 5 days to reach the Moon, where it will be put into an initial 120 x 13000 km polar orbit. The relay satellite will be released into a 100 x 2400 km orbit and then the VLBI satellite will be released into a 100 x 800 km orbit. The orbiter will then be lowered to its nominal 100 km circular orbit. Selene will carry out observations for approximately one year.



Last Updated ( Friday, 11 September 2009 07:35 )