The lunar explorer “KAGUYA” (SELENE), which successfully separated its two baby satellites, has been shifted to the regular control mode to observe the Moon's surface by having the observation equipment face the moon at all times.
From now on, the satellite will move to the initial functional verification phase to check out its onboard equipment until mid December. After that, it will start regular observations.
(Photo: Moon’s surface shot by the monitor camera of the main satellite from the regular observation orbit.)
News Flash 
[October 19, 2007 (9:25) Updated]
KAGUYA (SELENE) Result of the Lunar Orbit Adjustment Maneuver (LOI 5 and 6)
Photo Collections of Launch of H-IIA Launch Vehicle F13
[October 15, 2007 Updated]
Launch photos of the H-IIA F13 sent by viewers are introduced here. All photos reveal the passion for watching the launch and efforts to take the best shot.
Please enjoy them, and thank you very much for sending us your superb images.
KAGUYA releases VRAD satellite
"OKINA" and "OUNA" were selected as the nicknames
[October 12, 2007 Updated]
The lunar explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE) released one of its onboard baby satellites, the VRAD satellite, at 1:28 p.m. on Oct. 12 (Japan Standard Time.)
"OKINA" and "OUNA" were respectively chosen as nicknames for the Relay satellite and the VRAD satellite in relation with Princess KAGUYA from the Japanese old tale "Taketori Monogatari" (The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter.)
The KAGUYA will further lower its apocynthion altitude to be injected into the circular orbit at an altitude of 100 km.
KAGUYA took images of the Moon and released the Rstar
[October 9, 2007 Updated]
On October 9, the lunar explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE) released one of its onboard baby satellites, the Relay satellite (Rstar,) at 9:36 a.m. (Japan Standard Time) In addition, the KAGUYA onboard camera to monitor its high-gain antenna captured images of the Moon's surface. The KAGUYA will further lower the altitude of its apocynthion to separate the other baby satellite, the VRAD satellite.
KAGUYA Lunar Orbit Injection was confirmed
[October 5, 2007 Updated]
JAXA performed the lunar orbit injection maneuver (LOI1) for the "KAGUYA" (SELENE) at 6:20 a.m. on October 4, 2007 (Japan Standard Time, JST) and have confirmed that the KAGUYA was injected into the lunar orbit.
We are now pleased to be able to report to you that we have safely delivered messages and signs that were collected from 412,627 people through the Wish upon the Moon Campaign to the Moon. We would like to express our profound appreciation again to all participants.
The "KAGUYA" is now flying in the lunar elliptical orbit at the apocynthion altitude of 11,741 km and pericynthian altitude of 101 km. From now on, it is scheduled to release the Relay satellite first, then the VRAD satellite.
KAGUYA Successful Image Taking by the High Definition Television (HDTV)
[October 1, 2007 Updated]
JAXA and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) have successfully taken high definition moving images through the KAGUYA (SELENE) for the firsttime.
The images were taken by the KAGUYA’s onboard High Definition Television (HDTV), which was developed by NHK for space use. It is the first high-definition image shooting of the Earth from so deep in space - about 110,000 km away from the Earth - in human history.
Certificate Award Ceremony for Christening "KAGUYA"
[September 25, 2007 Updated]
On the launch day of the "KAGUYA," a certificate was bestowed on Mr. Natsumi Shimura, who named the lunar explorer "KAGUYA," at the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC.) While holding the certificate presented by JAXA Vice President Kaoru Mamiya, Mr. Shimura and his mother Reiko, who also visited the TNSC with him, commented as follows.
Mr. Natsumi Shimura said:
I was moved by watching a rocket launch before my own eyes. It is quite different from watching images taken by a camera. I was especially thrilled when I saw the blast on the main engine as I heard the announcement "Main engine ignition."
Ms. Reiko Shimura said:
I got goose bumps when I heard "Main engine ignition."
Launch Result of the KAGUYA by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13
[September 14, 2007 Updated]
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the Lunar Orbit Explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE) by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13 (H-IIA F13) at 10:31:01 a.m. on September 14, 2007 (Japan Standard Time, JST) from the Tanegashima Space Center.
The launch vehicle flew smoothly, and, at about 45 minutes and 34 seconds after liftoff, the separation of the KAGUYA was confirmed.
(Photo: Courtesy of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.)
Launch Postponement of the KAGUYA (SELENE)/H-IIA F13
[September 11, 2007 Updated]
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency would like to announce that we have decided to postpone the launch of the Lunar Orbit Explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE) by H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13 (H-IIA F13) as adverse weather conditions are expected during the scheduled countdown operations starting from one day prior to the launch day.
The new launch date will be September 14 (Fri,) 2007 (Japan Standard Time, JST.) The launch time is scheduled for 10:31:01 a.m. (JST.)
We will re-examine the weather and other conditions tomorrow for the launch on the 14th.
The launch was previously scheduled for September 13 (Thu,) 2007 (JST.)
Encapsulated "KAGUYA" moved to the VAB
[September 3, 2007 Updated]
On Aug. 26, the "KAGUYA" was mated with the Payload Attach Fitting (PAF,) a device to load the satellite onto the launch vehicle, in the Spacecraft and Fairing Assembly Building 1 (SFA 1). Subsequently, on the 28th, it was encapsulated by a payload fairing 4S-type. The encapsulated "KAGUYA" was safely transported to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) in the early morning of Sep. 3.
Photo right: The "KAGUYA" encapsulation
Photo left: Encapsulated "KAGUYA" moved to the VAB
Live launch report information
[August 29, 2007 Updated]
We will broadcast a live report of the KAGUYA/H-IIA F13 launch from our studio at the Tanegashima Space Center. JAXA employees will provide commentary on the launch as the navigators of the program.
You can watch the report on the Internet through JAXA's broadcasting sites, as well as on big screens set up on streets, at science museums, and on some cable TV channels. Please take a look at messages from the navigator and the technical commentator, who are enthusiastically preparing for the report.
Photo: Live report of the H-IIA F11 launch
Total eclipse on Aug. 28: Let's monitor the moon instead of the KAGUYA!
[August 28, 2007 Updated]
On Aug. 28, a total eclipse will be observed from all over Japan first time in six years.
A total eclipse is a phenomenon that the Sun, the Earth and the Moon line up in a perfect one line, thus the Moon will be completely covered by the shade of the Earth. It will happen between 6:52 and 8:23 p.m. Before and after that time frame, you can also see partial eclipse which a part of the Moon looks like missing.
The KAGUYA is scheduled to be launched in 16 days. Why don't you take some time to observe the Moon, which is the KAGUYA's observation target?
Image: Total eclipse (image)
Pay attention to the interstage part of the H-IIA F13
[August 22, 2007 Updated]
For the first time, the H-IIA launch service is provided by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI). You can find the MHI logo on the first stage of the launch vehicle. In addition, the "KAGUYA" mission logo as well as the "JAXA Club" logo and characters are attached to the interstage area. Please also take a look at the interstage.
(Photo provided by MHI)
New Launch day of "KAGUYA"
[August 15, 2007 Updated]
The launch of the Lunar Orbit Explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE) by H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13 (H-IIA F13) was rescheduled for 10:35:47 a.m. on September 13 (THU), 2007 (Japan Standard Time) after replacement work of parts in the two onboard baby satellites of the "KAGUYA" was successfully completed. We plan to broadcast a live launch report on the launch day. Please enjoy it.
KAGUYA promotional movie
[August 8, 2007 Updated]
With computer graphics and images, the movie provides an easy-to-understand explanation of the "KAGUYA (SELENE)" mission aiming to clarify the mystery of the "origin and evolution of the Moon," which was left unsolved by the Apollo project. (Sorry, Japanese only.)
Launch Postponement of the KAGUYA (SELENE)
[July 20, 2007 Updated]
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency would like to announce that we decided to postpone the launch of the Lunar Orbit Explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE) by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13 (H-IIA F13.)
The launch was originally scheduled on August 16, 2007 (Japan Standard Time, JST.)
The new launch date will be announced as soon as it is determined.
Winner for launch inspection trip picked from among KAGUYA's 'godparents'
[July 4, 2007 Updated]
We received 1,701 nominations for the nickname "KAGUYA," and from these "godparents" we carefully carried out a draw and Ms. Natsumi Shimura (Tokyo) was selected as the winner of an inspection trip to the Tanegashima Space Center for the launch of the KAGUYA.
Upon hearing of her success, a surprised Ms. Shimura said, "I'm lost for words. I never thought I would win this …. As this is a lunar exploration project at a time when the world is focusing its attention on Mars, I would like the KAGUYA to discover something that will be a stepping stone to the next stage. I' m very proud to be a godmother for the KAGUYA."
We also plan to send a "certificate" to all those people who became godparents of the KAGUYA sometime after mid-July. To all the winners, please look forward to receiving your prize.
H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13 arrives at Tanegashima Space Center
[July 3, 2007 Updated]
After cutting the water yesterday at Shimama Port, Tanegashima, the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13 arrived at Tanegashima Space Center at dawn on July 3, 2007.
It is being assembled at the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB).
H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13 arrives at Tanegashima
[July 2, 2007 Updated]
On July 2, 2007, the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13 arrived at Shimama Port, Tanegashima.
It will leave from Shimama Port late tonight for careful transportation and is scheduled to arrive at Tanegashima Space Center early tomorrow.
H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13 unveiled to media
[June 29, 2007 Updated]
On June 28, the core body of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13, which will launch the KAGUYA (SELENE), was unveiled to the media at the Tobishima factory of Nagoya Aerospace Systems Works, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
The H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13 will be moved out of the Tobishima factory and carefully transported to Shimama Port at Tanegashima. The scheduled arrival date is July 2, 2007.
KAGUYA's Tracking and Control Team Performs Rehearsal
[June 21, 2007 Updated]
Hello, I'm "K.N." from the Public Relations Department at the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS).
As we move closer to the launch of the KAGUYA, the Tracking and Control Team is undergoing a second rehearsal at our Sagamihara Campus. If everything goes smoothly from the launch to the injection into the lunar orbit, we may not actually need the rehearsal, but you never know what's going to happen. We need to assume various situations and are performing rehearsals every day here. I belong to the communications group in the Tracking and Control Team and one big issue for us is how we are going to release the information from the satellite group to the public.
We will make final adjustments at Sagamihara Campus as we move closer to the KAGUYA's launch in August.
"KAGUYA" (SELENE) debuts at Tanegashima
[June 18, 2007 Updated]
On June 18, 2007, the lunar explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE) was introduced to the media at the Second Spacecraft Test and Assembly Building at Tanegashima Space Center.
The KAGUYA, which is carrying many messages submitted to the "Wish upon the Moon" campaign, is going to have final adjustments ahead of the launch.
We are still accepting applications from organizations that can support the KAGUYA's mission.
Launch day is set! Special site is open!
[June 13, 2007 Updated]
The launch day and time of the lunar explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE) and the "H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13" is set at 9:30:48 a.m. on August 16, 2007. We have opened a Special Web Site for the launch. We will carry the latest news on the "KAGUYA" and the "H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13" on these special web pages, so please check them regularly.
"KAGUYA" selected as SELENE's nickname!
[June 6, 2007 Updated]
The nickname for the lunar explorer SELENE, which was solicited from the general public, has been selected as the "KAGUYA." We appreciate the many applications we received.