Latest SELENE Stories
A Japanese space probe named Selene, or Kaguya in Japanese, has sent back breathtaking high-definition video of the Moonâ€™s surface.
NASA has obtained the highest resolution terrain mapping to date of the moon's rugged south polar region, with a resolution to 20 meters per pixel.
The space around Earth is a busy place, as teeming with traffic as a roundabout. More than 500 active satellites are bustling about up there right now. Soon the space around the moon will be busy too.
The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, or Grail, mission is a part of NASA's Discovery Program. It will cost $375 million and is scheduled to launch in 2011.
Over a few short months, Japan, China, and India will all have lunar probes orbiting the moon, sparking talk of a new space race in Asia. China, for one, takes exception at that characterization.
Japan put its first satellite into orbit around the moon Friday, placing the country a step ahead of China and India in an increasingly heated space race in Asia.
JAXAâ€™s first large lunar explorer, Kaguya (formerly Selene), launched on September 14, is adding a new mission to the story of lunar exploration.
Of the two luminaries that dominate our sky, it is the moon that is of particular interest to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) project. The LRO will travel to the moon in late fall 2008, mapping the surface to help pave the way for humans to return.
NASA wants to explore the Moon's polar regions for many reasons, not the least of which is that deep polar craters may contain ice. However, the instability of polar orbits poses a real problem for exploration and communication with Earth.
Europe's first spacecraft to the moon ended its three-year mission Sunday with a planned crash, hitting its target after ground controllers had to maneuver it around a looming crater rim.
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