Search This Blog


Monday, November 10, 2008

Kaguya Goes Into Extended Mode

The Japanese Kaguya spacecraft, in lunar orbit since last October, is now on an extended mission with four phases that will lead to an end of mission crash in August 2009 if all goes to JAXA plan (in Japanese), and provided by Junya Terazono.

Phase 1...100 km circular orbit* period: from Nov 2008 to mid-March 2009* operation: continue observation from 100 km circular orbit* mission: observation of elements distribution by Gamma-ray spcecrometer;

Phase 2...50 km circular orbit (lower orbit)* period: from mid-March 2009 to late April* operation: 50 km circular orbit* mission: acquisition of the magnetic field of lunar surface using magnetometer and plasma observation system. More detailed observation using HDTV (optional)and observation of other instruments within instruments' mechanical limit (optional);

Phase 3...elliptical orbit* Period: May 2009* operation: elliptical orbit, 20 km (perilune) at south pole and 100 km(apolune) at north pole* mission: same as phase 2. Additionally, topography and mineral distribution will be acquiredin the north pole in summer; and,

Phase 4...crash* Period: before August 2009* operation: controlled crash to the specified point in the nearside.* mission: observation campaingn.

1 comment:

Minjae said...

Hi Jack -

My name is Minjae Ormes and I am working with National Geographic Channel. As part of the upcoming, first annual Expedition Week (November 16 - 23), we actually have a program called "Direct From The Moon" airing on Monday, November 17, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The program will feature high-definition video of the moon's surface is being beamed directly back from just above the moon from Kaguya. For more information, please visit our Web site at

I thought this might be of interest to you and your readers at Spaceports and wanted to share with you. Thanks so much!