SELENE project manager - Susumu Sasaki
As a successor of Mr. Yoshisada Takizawa, I am serving as a SELENE project manager from November 2008.
JAXA had a meeting to review the nominal operation results, system performance status, and extended mission operation plans in the end of October 2008, that was one year after the "KAGUYA" mission orbit injection. Based on the meeting result, JAXA decided to continue the operation of the "KAGUYA" to acquire the additional scientific results. The "KAGUYA" will continue its observations until early 2009 using the main orbiter on the same orbit of 100 kilometers in altitude as before and also using the two sub-satellites (Okina and Ouna). The main orbiter will then lower its altitude sometime in spring to perform higher accuracy and new additional observations on the Moon's magnetic fields, plasma environment, etc. We plan to drop the main orbiter on the near side of the Moon before the summer of 2009.
Following the lunar explorers launched in 2007 by Japan and China, an Indian lunar explorer was launched in 2008, and the United States is also scheduled to launch their lunar explorer in 2009. Accumulating the enormous data acquired from these lunar explorers, scientific research on the origin and evolution of the Moon and research on how to utilize the Moon for the benefit of mankind will be boosted internationally. Based on this new lunar knowledge, human activities will expand to the Moon in the near future. I believe that the data from the "KAGUYA" will make a great contribution in terms of quality and quantity amidst this international movement.
The "KAGUYA" has been receiving heart-warming messages of support from the public through the "Wish Upon The Moon" Campaign and following the broadcast of spectacular movies of the Earth and the Moon captured by the high definition camera. These messages have given great encouragement to the members for the project team who are conducting the satellite's operations and analyzing the data day and night. We ask for your continued support for the "KAGUYA" project.