2009/06/25

Sayonara, Princess Kaguya

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) project Selene (also called "Kaguya") ended on June 11th. The moon exploration satellite, named for the extra-terrestrial heroin HEROINE of Japan's very first novel (yes! Japan's first literary work, written in the late 9th or early 10th century, was about an E.T.!), had finished it's mission of mapping the moon with radar and high definition television, and was deliberately crashed into the moon's surface.

Princess Kaguya weeping over having to leave her Earthly love and return to the Moon

You can read about Kaguya on my earlier posts here:
A Moon Maiden Takes Flight - Princess Kaguya
Top Of The Moon
The Earth Also Rises
Lunar Eclipse As Seen From The Moon

At the end, Kaguya filmed the trip all the way down with HD (high definition) TV, skimming the surface until at last she plunged into the Moon just beyond the lighted area.


Now, the USA has it's own satellite orbiting the moon - the LRO, or Lunar Reconnaissance Obiter - with a similar mission of mapping with photo images and radar. The purpose is to find future landing sites for manned visits to the moon and possibly extended stays. Like Kaguya, the LRO will eventually be sent into the surface. When it goes, a second probe will follow it through the plume of dust it sends up in order to study the materials ejected. The hope is to find frozen water which might be used by future missions to make water and also hydrogen fuel for rockets and oxygen for breathing.

Sayonara, Kaguya. You are truly home at last. Mission well done.

4 comments:

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hey Panda,
What is 'extra-terrestrial heroin'? Okay, I know it's only a slip of keying in.
w.
What are the people there saying about Michael Jackson? The story has taken over the pages of all of our papers here, long TV programs etc. An ultimately sad life and death I think.

Pandabonium said...

Wendy - Heroin. Ha! How else could she get so high? There are underground domes on the moon filled with opium poppies! OK - You caught me in a very unusual mistak. ;)

I suppose Jackson's death is big news among his fans here as anywhere. He came to Japan five times on solo tours. I don't have TV so can't comment on that coverage, but online newspapers are just carrying the news stories from the wire services. I've not had in personal conversations about it other than with K while listening to the news.

ladybug said...

Thanks for this story Panda...haven't seen a thing about it here...wish Japan's space explorations much success!

Love the picture of the Princess too!

Info for you from a previous post Hulu is a website that offers commercial-supported streaming video of TV shows and movies from NBC, Fox and many other networks and studios. Hulu videos are currently offered only to users in the United States...so far I've watched "Nanny & the Professor", "Flipper" and some cable shows like "Burn Notice", "Daily Show" and "Colbert Report" (since we don't have cable). You can watch old movies too...we have it hooked up to the TV (via my MAC).

Pandabonium said...

Ladybug - thanks for explaining "Hulu". It sounded like a character from "Hawaii 5-0" - "book 'em Hulu"!