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RE: SELENE mission
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Twenty high-definition videos of the moon recorded by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's lunar probe Kaguya have been posted on the video-sharing Web site YouTube Japan.

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The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) successfully captured a movie of the "Full Earth-Rise"*1 using the onboard High Definition Television (HDTV) of the lunar explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE) on September 30, 2008 (Japan Standard Time, JST, all the following dates and time are JST.) The KAGUYA is currently flying in a lunar orbit at an altitude of about 100 km.

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The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) carried out observations using two onboard sensors of the lunar explorer KAGUYA -- the Laser Altimeter (LALT) and sounder mode (*) of the Lunar Radar Sounder (LRS).
Through analysis of the LALT data taken from November 26 (Japan Standard Time, all the following dates and times are JST), 2007, we confirmed that the lunar topography can be deduced as planned. The LALT is expected to obtain a global and precise topographic data set of the Moon, including the polar regions with a latitude higher than 75 degrees that have never been explored by previous satellites. This data set, in combination with the high-spatial-resolution stereoscopic observation data to be taken with the Terrain Camera (TC), will compose the first complete, precise, and high-spatial-resolution topographic map of the Moon.
The LRS sounder mode was tested on November 20 and 21, 2007, over the eastern Mare Imbrium, and the performance of this mode was verified. The data obtained in this experiment visualized largely horizontal subsurface stratification, which probably consists of alternating beds of lava, volcanic ashe and ejecta blankets. The existence of such a strata has been expected for decades based chiefly on surface geology. By means of global scanning, the LRS will provide us with a massive amount of information on the subsurface geology of the Moon down to a few kilometres from the surface. Faults and folds, identified from the discontinuity or disturbance of subsurface stratification, are important clues to understand not only regional tectonics but also the evolution of the Moon, including global thermal history.

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The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has announced that the operation phase of the lunar explorer, KAGUYA (SELENE), was transitioned to normal operations from its initial check out on December 21, 2007 as they were able to acquire satisfactory verification results for all fifteen observation missions. The results are shown in the following chart.
JAXA had been conducting an initial functional verification of the KAGUYA onboard systems (for both the bus and mission instruments) for about two months since the KAGUYA was injected into observation orbit at an altitude of about 100 km on Oct 18, 2007.
From now on, they will perform regular operations for about ten months to acquire data on "Moon Science" and other studies.
Although the X-ray Spectrometer and Charged Particle Spectrometer were found not performing its full specifications, JAXA will cope with the problems during their normal operations while continuing to investigate the cause.

"Kaguya" Initial Check results

   1. Confirmed the system performance of the "Kaguya" main orbiter and sub-satellites ("Okina" and "Ouna") with expected results during the initial check.
   2. Verified electric, thermal and observation function performance of 15 observation missions. The results are shown in the following table. As there were no obstacles to start normal observation operations, the phase-up from initial check phase to normal operation phase was confirmed, though some remarks were identified.

Observation Missions Initial check out results for observation function Remarks
X-ray Spectrometer (XRS) It may be difficult to use the 4 CCDs mode to meet performance expectation standards for normal operations because there are some high-level noises. A study to reduce the noise is ongoing. One CCD mode will be applied for normal operations to meet expected performance levels to detect target element distribution although the spatial resolution of 1 CCD mode is two times bigger than that of 4 CCDs mode. One CCD mode will be applied for normal operations for the moment. A study on the incident will continue to reduce the noise.
Gamma Ray Spectrometer (GRS) The GRS worked fine and it detected Gamma rays from the lunar. The GRS is expected to discriminate incidents of gamma-ray energies with high precision and determine abundances of more than 10 elements in the lunar surface. None
Multi-band Imager (MI)
Spectral Profiler (SP)
Terrain Camera (TC)
The LISM (MI, SP and TC) worked fine and observed the Lunar surface data and spectral data. The LISM is expected to provide the first precise topographic, geologic, and mineralogical information on the moon. None
Lunar Radar Sounder (LRS) Planetary radio waves and plasma waves around the moon's orbit were observed without any interference from man-made noise from the earth and solar radiation. Sounding the surface and subsurface structures of the Moon by using HF radar technique with a frequency of 5 MHz was observed by the LRS. Through those results, the LRS observation function was confirmed. None
Laser Altimeter (LALT) The laser range data was obtained by LALT and the LALT is expected to construct a global, accurate and precise topographic map of the Moon. None
Lunar Magnetometer (LMAG) LMAG was confirmed specified capability of magnetic field measurements. None
Charged Particle Spectrometer (CPS) The CPS/ARD detected alpha rays emitted by the Rn on the lunar surface. The CPS/PS observed electron and proton around the moon. However, the CPS/PS could only observe heavy and light ion for several hours after it was turned on. This may be caused by thermal dependence of the regulators of single process sub-system. When the temperature of the regulator was low enough, heavy and light ion were detected by the CPS/PS. Normal observations of the CPS will be performed with monitoring of the single process subsystem. A study on the incident will also continue.
Plasma energy Angle and Composition Experiment (PACE) Data from the electron and solar wind ion from the Lunar surface was successfully observed by the PACE. None
Radio science (RS) A frequency change observation of the VRAD satellite (OUNA) was successfully performed for radio science. None
Upper-atmosphere and Plasma Imager (UPI) The observation function of the UPI extreme ultraviolet telescope (TEX) was verified to observe the plasmasphere and the observation function of the UPI visible telescope (TVIS) was also confirmed to observe global distribution of aurora and airglow. None
Relay Satellite (RSAT) Four-way Doppler measurements of the Main Orbiter (KAGUYA) by using the Relay Satellite (OKINA) for far-side gravity field were performed. None
VLBI radio source (VRAD) Orbits of the sub-satellites (OKINA and OUNA) were precisely determined by tracking the radio sources onboard the sub-satellites with a differential VLBI, which contributes to the accuracy of the gravity field, especially in the lunar limb areas. None
High Definition Television (HDTV) The HDTV shot movies of the earth rise, earth set and various lunar surfaces successfully. None

Source JAXA


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KAGUYA mission
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The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) verified the Spectral Profiler (SP) onboard the lunar explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE) orbiting approximately 100 km above the lunar surface, through initial observations on November 3, 2007, and subsequent data analysis. The obtained data is the world's first continuous reflectance spectra of the far side of the Moon in the visible and near infrared region.
The satellite was confirmed to be in good health through telemetry data received at the Usuda Deep Space Centre.

Spectral Profiler3
Credit JAXA

The Spectral Profiler (SP) is a spectrometer that can obtain continuous reflectance spectra of the lunar surface from the nadir direction of the main orbiter "KAGUYA" in a broad spectral coverage (500-2600 nm) at a high spectral resolution (6-8 nm) and high spatial resolution (500 m). It will conduct, for the first time in the world, continuous global spectral observations of the Moon in the visible to near infrared region. The initial functional check of the SP on November 3, 2007, successfully produced a series of spectra along a strip longer than 1,000 km on the far side of the Moon

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The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) successfully demonstrated production of digital elevation models and stereo movies (3 dimensional movies) of the Moon surface by using stereoscopic images obtained with the Terrain Camera (TC) onboard KAGUYA on Nov. 3, 2007 (Japan Standard Time, JST). This verification was performed as part of the initial check out of mission instruments onboard "KAGUYA" (SELENE), which was injected into the Moon's orbit at an altitude of about 100 km. These are the first 3-D movies of the Moon including its polar areas with an aerial resolution of 10 metres. Anaglyph images*1 and movies were also produced from the digital elevation models.

*1: Anaglyph images are 3-D images viewed with red and blue 3-D glasses
Movies (480 X 270 pixels)  DYSON crater     Click to Play | View Details   
3D image around DYSON crater by TC
Anaglyph moving image around DYSON crater by TC
3D image near the South Pole by TC
Credit JAXA

-- Edited by Blobrana at 10:58, 2007-11-28

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The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) carried out an observation using two onboard sensors of the Moon Explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE,) the Terrain Camera (TC) and Multi-band Imager (MI,) on November 3, 2007, processed the acquired data, and confirmed they were functioning properly. The observation was part of the initial functional verification of the KAGUYA, which had been injected into the Moon's orbit at an altitude of about 100 km. In a global first, both three-dimensional (stereo) observations of the Moon by the TC with a 10-meter aerial resolution and a multi-band observations by the MI with a 20-meter aerial resolution of the Moon's backside and near polar were taken.

IMAGE (71kb, 640 x 445)

First image data by the KAGUYA TC
(South latitude: 89 degrees / East longitude: 240 degrees)
About 30 km from the South Pole on the Moon's backside



Expand (638kb, 962 x 960)

First Image taken by the KAGUYA MI
The colour image of the Moon (quasi colour image) was composed by applying red, green and blue respectively to three bands, namely 900nm, 700nm and 415nm, of the nine bands of MI. The comparative computation image shows the comparison of the strength of two bands, 750 nm and 1,000 nm. By processing image data acquired by multiple band widths, we can learn the volume and scattered direction of material dug up to the surface from the inside and chemical composition of materials existing underneath craters. Such information is necessary for studying the scale and direction of a collision when a crater was formed. The image was not calibrated yet, but, by comparative calculation, we can more clearly see the inconsistency of the distribution of material scattered around the crater compared to in a single-band image. The red to yellow (then yellow-green) areas indicate that more dub-up material exists there due to crater formation on highlands anorthosite surface soil (in dark blue).

Source JAXA

-- Edited by Blobrana at 15:36, 2007-11-16

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