Japan lunar orbiter frees mini-satellite

Oct 10, 2007

Japan's unmanned lunar orbiter has started taking pictures and released a miniature satellite to help map the moon.

The Kaguya lunar craft, launched Sept. 14, jettisoned the first of its two 110-pound "baby" satellites Monday, Space.com reported Tuesday. The second mini-satellite is to be released Oct. 14, the space Web site said.

Kaguya is to produce detailed studies of the moon using 14 science instruments from a height of about 62 miles above the moon's surface during its one-year mission. The spacecraft to produce high-resolution surface and gravity maps, observe the moon's magnetic fields and search for water ice, among other science objectives.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Mercury MESSENGER nears epic mission end

Related Stories

The pale blue dot and other 'selfies' of Earth

Apr 06, 2015

Twenty-five years ago a set of images were taken that provided a unique view of Earth and helped highlight the fragility of our existence, and the importance of our stewardship.

Total lunar eclipse before dawn on April 4th

Mar 31, 2015

An unusually brief total eclipse of the Moon will be visible before dawn this Saturday, April 4th, from western North America. The eclipse happens on Saturday evening for Australia and East Asia.

Comet dust—planet Mercury's 'invisible paint'

Mar 30, 2015

A team of scientists has a new explanation for the planet Mercury's dark, barely reflective surface. In a paper published in Nature Geoscience, the researchers suggest that a steady dusting of carbon from p ...

Recommended for you

Mercury MESSENGER nears epic mission end

6 hours ago

A spacecraft that carries a sensor built at the University of Michigan is about to crash into the planet closest to the sun—just as NASA intended.

Dawn glimpses Ceres' north pole

7 hours ago

After spending more than a month in orbit on the dark side of dwarf planet Ceres, NASA's Dawn spacecraft has captured several views of the sunlit north pole of this intriguing world. These images were taken ...

A blueprint for clearing the skies of space debris

Apr 17, 2015

An international team of scientists have put forward a blueprint for a purely space-based system to solve the growing problem of space debris. The proposal, published in Acta Astronautica, combines a super-wide field-of-view telesc ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.