Sayonara Kaguya ( さよなら かぐや)
The KAGUYA かぐや (SELENE) probe ended its scientific exploration of the moon with a controlled impact on the lunar surface. The crash, scheduled for 3:30 AM (Japan standard time) today ( June 11, 2009 (6:30 PM GMT on June 10, 2009), will occur in the shadow on the near side of the moon, at 63 degrees south latitude and 80 degrees east longitude. See Impact Video Here, Sayonara KAGUYA Sayonara…
The red star shows where KAGUYA is crashed
“KAGUYA”(SELENE), Japan’s first large lunar explorer, was launched by the H-IIA rocket on September 14, 2007 (JST). The mission, which is the largest lunar mission since the Apollo program, is being keenly anticipated by many countries.
The major objectives of the mission are to understand the Moon’s origin and evolution, and to observe the moon in various ways in order to utilize it in the future. The lunar missions that have been conducted so far have gathered a large amount of information on the Moon, but the mysteries of its origin and evolution have been left unsolved.
KAGUYA will investigate the entire moon in order to obtain information on its elemental and mineralogical composition, its geography, its surface and sub-surface structure, the remnant of its magnetic field, and its gravity field. The results are expected to lead to a better overall understanding of the Moon’s evolution. At the same time, the observation equipment installed on the orbiting satellite will observe plasma, the electromagnetic field and high-energy particles. The data obtained in this way will be of great scientific importance for exploring the possibility of using the moon for human endeavors.
The first video (embedded above) was shot from an altitude of about 11 kilometers (7 miles) up, at between 45 and 52 degrees south latitude and 262 and 263 degrees east longitude.
The second video, which offers a view of the Antoniadi lunar crater, was shot from an altitude of about 21 kilometers (13 miles) up, at between 64 and 70 degrees south latitude and 186 and 188 degrees east longitude.
After its launch in late 2007, KAGUYA started in orbit about 100 kilometers (62 miles) above the moon. By February 2009 the probe had dropped to an altitude of 50 kilometers (31 miles), and in April it dropped to between 10 and 30 kilometers (6 – 19 miles).
JAXA has not announced whether the probe will film its own demise.