Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) satellite SELENE (SELenological
and ENgineering Explorer) launched via the H-IIA Launch Vehicle from
Tanegashima the Japanese Space Center.
objective for SELENE mission is to obtain scientific data of
the lunar origin and evolution, and develop the technology for
future lunar exploration. SELENE consists of main orbiting
satellite located at about 100km altitude, and two small
satellites (Relay Satellite and VRAD Satellite) placed in polar
orbit. The orbiters will carry instruments for the total scientific
investigation of the Moons surface.
claims SELENE is most sophisticated lunar exploration mission
in the post-Apollo Era. SELENE will observe the distribution
of the material elements and minerals on the surface, the surface and
sub-surface structure, the gravity field, the remnant of the
magnetic field, and the environment of energetic particles and
plasma of the Moon.
scientific data will also be used for exploring the
possibilities of the future utilization of the Moon via opencast
mining of the surface.
will also establish the basic technologies for future Moon
exploration: lunar polar orbit insertion, 3-axis attitude
control and thermal control in lunar orbit. In addition,
SELENE will take pictures and movies of Earth-rise from the
funding for the research will be
provided by both private foundations and EU Governments and Japanese
will be strongly interdisciplinary, engaging many experts from:
space management, space biology, space ecosystem management,
meteorology research, earth-moon linked sciences, mapmaking, and
space risk liability, space engineering, information technology
and deep space communication protocols, space law, and satellite
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