The Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), the center of the research of space and astronautical science in Japan, has successfully developed and launched 16 scientific satellites and 6 engineering ones, including 2 interplanetary ones, since 1970 by the Mu series of launch vehicle. ISAS is now developing its first Lunar Probe named LUNAR-A to be launched in 1997 by M-V launch vehicle, the next generation of Mu. The mission of LUNAR-A is to land three probes, penetrators, on the lunar surface in order to measure the travelling of the seismic wave and the heat flux there, which is expected to give some information and understanding of the origin of the Moon; that is, how the Moon had been formed and evolved. Two of three penetrators is planned to be landed at the equatorial region of the Moon, one at the near side and the other at the far side, and one at the border of the near side and the far side. The placement above-mentioned form the triangle, which is preferable to obtain good data for the travelling of the seismic wave. The present paper shows the outline and the present status of the development of the LUNAR-A project.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aerospace Engineering