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SELenological and ENgineering Explorer "SELENE"

PROJECT TOPICS

December 1, 2006 Updated
SELENE "WISH UPON THE MOON" Campaign

JAXA invites you to send your name and message to be delivered to the Moon. The campaign aims to make people feel more familiar with the Selenological and Engineering Explorer (or Moon explorer) "SELENE" project. Your names and messages will be delivered to the Moon on the "SELENE."

This is a worldwide campaign in cooperation with The Planetary Society of Japan and The Planetary Society of the U.S.A.

We can accept names and messages until January 31, 2007. We are looking forward to many entries.

- SELENE "Wish upon the moon!"Campaign


OVERVIEW
SELENE: The largest lunar mission since the Apollo program

illust of SELENE The SELenological and ENgineering Explorer "SELENE", Japan’s first large lunar explorer, will be launched by the H-IIA rocket in 2007. The mission, which is the largest lunar mission since the Apollo program, is being keenly anticipated by many countries.

The major objectives of the mission are to understand the Moon’s origin and evolution, and to observe the moon in various ways in order to utilize it in the future. The lunar missions that have been conducted so far have gathered a large amount of information on the Moon, but the mysteries of its origin and evolution have been left unsolved.

SELENE will investigate the entire moon in order to obtain information on its elemental and mineralogical composition, its geography, its surface and sub-surface structure, the remnant of its magnetic field, and its gravity field. The results are expected to lead to a better overall understanding of the Moon’s evolution. At the same time, the observation equipment installed on the orbiting satellite will observe plasma, the electromagnetic field and high-energy particles. The data obtained in this way will be of great scientific importance for exploring the possibility of using the moon for human endeavors.

SELENE’s configuration and mission

SELENE consists of the Main Orbiter and two small satellites (Relay Satellite and VRAD Satellite). The Main Orbiter will reach the vicinity of the Moon. Once it has reached the Moon, it will be placed into a peripolar orbit at an altitude of 100 km. The Relay Satellite will be placed in an elliptic orbit at an apogee of 2400 km, and will relay communications between the Main Orbiter and the ground station. The VRAD Satellite will play a significant role in measuring the gravitational field around the Moon. The Main Orbiter will be employed for about one year and will observe the entire Moon.
REFERENCE
The Moon Station -- the portal of lunar exploration
Institute of Space and Astronautical Science

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