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Picture of the Week: Moon Princess August 26, 2008

Posted by Nick Azer in Apollo, Gaia Selene, Google Lunar X Prize, Japan, Kaguya, Mooncast, Mythology, Picture of the Week.

That is an official JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) rendering of their lunar orbiter Kaguya (formerly SELENE; the new name is derived from the name of a lunar princess in the oldest surviving piece of Japanese fiction, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter), which completed much of its operations (namely visual documentation, including amazing HD video of Luna’s surface, which can be viewed here) in 2007.

A main facet of the Google Lunar X Prize‘s award conditions is the completion of a ‘Mooncast‘, including HD video, from the surface of the moon, representing something of a next step forward from what JAXA’s Kaguya carried forward from Apollo.

For a remarkably thorough and neat examination of the Kaguya craft itself, see this Discovery Channel profile on it.



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