Are you aware of Kaguya (Selene)?
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency(JAXA) launched “KAGUYA (SELENE)” by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle at 10:31:01 a.m. on September 14, 2007 (JST) from Tanegashima Space Center. The major objectives of the “KAGUYA” mission are to obtain scientific data of the lunar origin and evolution and to develop the technology for the future lunar exploration. “KAGUYA” consists of a main orbiting satellite at about 100km altitude and two small satellites (Relay Satellite and VRAD Satellite) in polar orbit. The orbiters will carry instruments for scientific investigation of the Moon, on the Moon, and from the Moon.
This space craft has just sent us a fresh, new, and very impressive bit of film from the moon.From the Kaguya Mission press release:
KAGUYA (SELENE)World’s First Image Taking of the Moon by HDTVNovember 7, 2007 (JST)Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) have successfully performed the world’s first high-definition image taking by the lunar explorer “KAGUYA” (SELENE,) which was injected into a lunar orbit at an altitude of about 100 km on October 18, 2007, (Japan Standard Time. Following times and dates are all JST.)The image shooting was carried out by the onboard high definition television (HDTV) of the KAGUYA, and it is the world’s first high definition image data acquisition of the Moon from an altitude about 100 kilometers away from the Moon.The image taking was performed twice on October 31. Both were eight-fold speed intermittent shooting (eight minutes is converged to one minute.) The first shooting covered from the northern area of the “Oceanus Procellarum” toward the center of the North Pole, then the second one was from the south to the north on the western side of the “Oceanus Procellarum.” The moving image data acquired by the KAGUYA was received at the JAXA Usuda Deep Space Center, and processed by NHK.The satellite was confirmed to be in good health through telemetry data received at the Usuda station.