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: Russia announces plan to build new space station with NASA