Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"KAGUYA" moves to regular control mode

Completion of the Critical Phase

Reminds me of the initial orbit adjustments for Lunar Prospector except
it was not 3 axis stable, but rather just a spinner.
AAS98-323.pdf <>
(387kb PDF file)

Here they will be able to have the instruments face the Moon.
All the better for getting the details.
- LRK -

Thank you for supporting the �KAGUYA�

[October 26, 2007 Updated]
JAXA would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of you who sent
us supporting messages for the KAGUYA and its project team since we
started to request messages on July 17. We have received over 800 messages.
The KAGUYA is now preparing for regular observations in the lunar orbit.
We will update you through the project site.

(Image: KAGUYA orbit 3D simulation)

* Project Site <>


Nothing to do with our Moon, just some comet getting agitated.
You know, something like we did with a big punch in the nose.
Natural, or some alien force a testing?
- LRK -

Article about comet 17P/Holmes exploding

(From Bob MacBird, Conroe, Texas)

*Summary:* Comet 17P/Holmes shocked astronomers on Oct. 24, 2007, with a
spectacular eruption. In less than 24 hours, the 17th magnitude comet
brightened by a factor of nearly a million becoming a naked-eye object
in the evening sky. Look for a golden 2.5th magnitude fuzzball in the
constellation Perseus after sunset. [sky map
<>] [3D
orbit <>]

Soooo, many things to look up at.
- LRK -

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
Completion of the Critical Phase
October 21, 2007 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) injected the KAGUYA main
satellite in its scheduled orbit and shifted its operation mode to the
regular control mode. Both the KAGUYA main satellite and its two baby
satellites are in good health. The "KAGUYA" (SELENE) is a lunar explorer
launched by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13 (H-IIA F13) on September 14, 2007,
(Japan Standard Time, JST) from the Tanegashima Space Center.

We completed the KAGUYA�s critical phase and are now moving to the
initial functional verification phase.

During the verification phase, we will check out onboard equipment in
the current lunar orbit until mid December,then start regular observations.

We would like to express our profound appreciation for the cooperation
and support of all related personnel and organizations that helped contribute
to the successful launch and tracking operation of the KAGUYA.

You can also check this information on the following Special Site:
[ ]

Critical phase: a period starting from launch through being ready for
initial functional verification including payload separation from the
launch vehicle, injection into the lunar orbit, and shift to a regular
control mode.

Regular control mode: attitude control method of a satellite with three
axis control to observe the Moon's surface by having the observation
equipment face the moon at all times.

:Mission website:

Lunar Explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE) Moon Images Shot by Its Monitor Cameras
(PDF) <>
* Partially revised on Oct. 24.

Launch of KAGUYA/H-IIAF13 Special Site
SELenological and ENgineering Explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE)

Index for 2007/10 <>

Selene Lowers Orbit To Observation Altitude

Aviation Week & Space Technology, 10/29/2007, page 20
Edited by Frank Morring, Jr.

Controllers will spend the next three weeks checking out the science
instruments on Japan's Selene lunar orbiter, now in final science
observation orbit at an average altitude of 100 km. (62 mi.). The
orbit lowering was completed Oct. 19 and confirmed by JAXA the next
day. With Selene in position, it no longer needs major orbital adjustments,
save for counteracting the Moon's irregular pull, which gradually draws
the circular orbit into an ellipse. The team needs to reset the satellite
once its orbit becomes a 70 X 130-km. oval. It is to be moved in an equal
but opposite oval to gain time between maneuvers. "As a precaution, we
deliberately set our first orbit to 80 km. and 120 km., which includes an
extra safety margin of 10 km.," says Project Manager Yoshisada Takizawa.
JAXA expects to perform the procedure bimonthly. Takizawa says 50-60 kg.
of extra hydrazine propellant have been conserved since launch from
Tanegashima Sept. 14, meaning more time for observation.


Oct. 30, 2007

Dwayne Brown
Headquarters, Washington

Michael Mewhinney
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

RELEASE: 07-233


WASHINGTION - NASA has announced its intent to establish a new lunar
science institute. This effort, with dispersed teams across the
nation, will help lead the agency's research activities for future
lunar science missions related to NASA's exploration goals.

Named the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI), the effort will be
managed from NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffet Field, Calif. Ames
currently manages a similar distributed NASA Astrobiology Institute.

NLSI's operations are expected to begin March 1, 2008. NLSI will
augment other, already established lunar science investigations
funded by NASA by encouraging the formation of interdisciplinary
research teams that are larger than those currently at work in lunar

"I am excited about NLSI," said Alan Stern, associate administrator
for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters,
Washington. "As the National Academy of Sciences has told us, the
science to be done at the moon and from the moon are of high value,
and NLSI will help us coordinate and expand a number of in-depth
research efforts in lunar science and other fields that can benefit
from human and robotic missions that are part of NASA's exploration

NLSI research teams will address current topics in basic lunar
science, and perhaps astronomical, solar and Earth science
investigations that could be performed from the moon. They also will
offer a quick response capability for lunar science support to NASA's
Exploration initiative.

A national search for a NLSI director is currently underway. Most work
done under NLSI's banner will take place at other NASA centers,
universities and non-profit research groups around the nations. These
groups will be competitively selected after scientific peer review.

Initially, NASA will select four or five teams for grants of $1 to $2
million each for three years, with renewals of up to five years. NASA
will solicit team proposals in a 2008 NASA Research Announcement.

By late 2008, about 50 researchers around the U.S. could be working
under NLSI's banner. By 2010, that number could double. Funds for
this effort are part of the president's proposed 2008 NASA budget for
the lunar science project within the planetary research program, now
under consideration in Congress.

"We're delighted NASA Ames was chosen to lead this exciting new lunar
science research office," said S. Pete Worden, Ames center director.
"This will complement the agency's ongoing lunar research and further
the implementation of the nation's exploration efforts."

The lunar science institute is modeled after the highly successful
NASA Astrobiology Institute, based at Ames. Established in 1997, the
NASA Astrobiology Institute promotes, conducts and leads integrated
multidisciplinary astrobiology research in addition to training a new
generation of astrobiology researchers.

For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit:


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Oct. 30, 2007

Melissa Mathews/Beth Dickey
Headquarters, Washington

RELEASE: 07-234


WASHINGTON - NASA announced Tuesday which agency centers will take
responsibility for specific work to enable astronauts to explore the
moon. The new assignments cover elements of the lunar lander and
lunar surface operations. The agency also announced work assignments
for Ares V, a heavy-lift rocket for lunar missions.

"NASA's Constellation Program is making real progress toward sending
astronauts to the moon," said Rick Gilbrech, associate administrator
for Exploration Systems, NASA Headquarters, Washington. "Work on our
new fleet of rockets and spacecraft, Ares I and Orion, is already
well under way. With these new assignments, NASA will launch the next
phase of its exploration strategy - landing crews and cargo on the
surface of the moon."

A center-by-center breakdown of assignments is available on the web

The Ares V and lunar lander assignments will ramp up in fiscal year
2011, with surface system assignments in fiscal year 2012. While
these decisions will result in budget and personnel allocations at
the centers, detailed estimates will not be available until after
prime contractors are formally selected for the work.

Each center will have the opportunity for additional work assignments
as Constellation Program elements become further defined.

"These work assignments are helping to shape a true Constellation
identity for each NASA center, which in turn will help the agency to
foster the kinds of expertise needed to achieve our space exploration
goals," Gilbrech said.

NASA's Constellation Program is working to send astronauts to the
moon, where they plan to set up a lunar outpost to prepare for human
exploration further into the solar system. The first crewed flight of
the Orion spacecraft, aboard an Ares I rocket, is scheduled for no
later than 2015. Astronauts will return to the moon by 2020.


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