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

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Japanese Kibo Mission - MAXI acquires all-sky X-ray image in the fastest time

I hope you are keeping up with what is happening with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
With this JAXA Mail Service, latest information from JAXA will automatically be e-mailed to your address.
- LRK -

Japanese Kibo Mission - MAXI acquires all-sky X-ray image in the fastest time
November 26, 2009 (JST)
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and RIKEN have successfully acquired an all-sky X-ray image (Figure 1.) using the "Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image (MAXI)" installed on the Exposed Facility of the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo." This quality image was achieved in the shortest period of time compared to other all-sky X-ray observation projects. In the future, it will be possible to repeatedly take this image every month or every few months.
Figure 1. All-sky X-ray image by the GSC of the MAXI
The image shows the all-sky in an oval shape on the "galactic coordinate" which indicates the Milky Way as a horizontal axis and the galactic center at the center of the image.

The image above was compiled using data acquired by the Gas Slit Camera (GSC), one of MAXI's onboard X-ray camera systems (Figure 3. in the Attachment), between August 15 and October 29, 2009 (Japan Standard Time.) (Please also refer to Figure 4. in the Attachment.)
Sources plotted in red in this figure radiate low-energy X-rays, and those in blue emit high-energy X-rays.

In this image, nearly 180 X-ray sources can be recognized by the eye.
Taking less than two months to complete, this is the world's quickest acquisition of an all-sky "color" X-ray image. This kind of all-sky X-ray image in a similar sensitivity and energy band was compiled by composing data obtained by the NASA satellite, HEAO-1, 30 years ago through its two-year survey.

In addition, the MAXI reported to an international mailing list of astronomers on five X-ray sources that have suddenly increased their brightness since the beginning of its mission. (A0535+26, GRB090831A,
GRB090926B, XTE J1752-223 and 4U2206+54 in Figure 2.)
Figure 2. Major X-ray sources and brightened sources detected by MAXI
(For more details, please refer to the Attachment)


IKAROS International Message Campaign for Mission Support

Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation of the Sun (IKAROS)
International Message Campaign for Mission Support

December 4, 2009 (JST)
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is scheduled to launch the Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun (IKAROS)*1 by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle in Japan Fiscal Year 2010 (as a secondary payload to the main payload, Venus Climate Orbiter
We would like to launch a mission support campaign together with The Planetary Society in the United States, which also plans to launch a solar sail spacecraft named "LightSail-1"*2 at the end of 2010. JAXA would like to encourage people all over the world to send us their supportive messages to be carried aboard the IKAROS and the LightSail-1 on printed aluminum plates or on a Mini-DVD. We sincerely hope that our campaign will accelerate this international collaboration, exchange and promote the public's understanding of solar sail research and development.

The following is the information about the campaign.

1. Campaign name
"Let's Set Sail for the Solar System on a Solar Yacht!"

2. Campaign period
December 4 (Fri.), 2009 through March 14 (Sun.), 2010 (Japan Standard Time) for the Mini-DVD, December 4 (Fri.), 2009 through February 28 (Sun.), 2010 (Japan Standard Time) for printed metal plates.

3. How to apply
Please send messages through the following websites.
English site:
Japanese site:

Your names and messages will be recorded and printed.
We are looking forward to hearing from many of you.


Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
Google Wave:
Google Wave Invite info:
NASA's WISE Sky Surveying Spacecraft Ready for Launch Dec. 11


WASHINGTON -- The launch of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, aboard a Delta II rocket is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 11, between 9:09 a.m. and 9:23 a.m. EST from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. NASA will provide television and Internet coverage of prelaunch activities and liftoff of the agency's latest space science mission.

After launch, WISE will scan the entire sky in infrared light with a sensitivity hundreds of times greater than ever before, picking up the glow of hundreds of millions of objects and producing millions of images. The mission will uncover objects never seen before, including the coolest stars, the universe's most luminous galaxies and some of the darkest near-Earth asteroids and comets.

A prelaunch news conference will be held Dec. 9 at 4 p.m. at the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office and broadcast on NASA Television. Reporters can ask questions from participating NASA centers. A WISE mission science briefing immediately will follow the prelaunch news conference. The briefings will be webcast at:

A WISE webcast with launch and mission managers is scheduled for noon Dec. 10. To access WISE features, visit NASA's WISE Web site at:

The first official NASA App invites you to discover a wealth of NASA information right on your iPhone or iPod Touch. The NASA App collects, customizes and delivers an extensive selection of dynamically updated information, images and videos from various online NASA sources in a convenient mobile package. Come explore with us.


* NASA Mission Information
* Launch Information & Countdown clocks
* Sighting Opportunities (Visible Passes for ISS, Space Shuttle)
* Mission Orbit Trackers
* NASA Image of the Day
* Astronomy Picture of the Day
* NASA Videos
* NASA Twitter Feeds/Mission Updates

2/7/09 10:31 AM ET
Mr. Obama, America’s Space Program Needs You
By Gene Kranz & Miles O'Brien

Dear U.S. President Barack Obama: The future direction of America’s civilian space program rests in your hands.

Your decisions must ensure that America builds upon a heritage of space leadership that has been hard-earned over the decades. Doing so will place this country on an energetic, inspiring and sustainable path in space — one that contributes to our technological productivity, economic growth and global stature in the 21st century.

You have the opportunity not only to maintain but to enhance our capabilities in space.

However, as recent studies have found, the U.S. human spaceflight program now finds itself on an unsustainable course in pursuit of goals that do not match allocated resources.

Congressional representatives from all across this nation have affirmed in no uncertain terms their belief that a strong space program is critical to the economic and technological success of the nation.

In many ways, your decisions regarding our space program hearken back to a time when America faced great challenges and difficulties — analogous to the complex issues that you are tackling as president and commander in chief today.

President John F. Kennedy took the high road of space. His leadership and investment in space set in motion the history-making giant leap to the Moon.

The Coalition for Space Exploration calls upon you to make certain our nation is pursuing the best trajectory for America’s space program — one that is safe, innovative, affordable and sustainable.




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