Japanese CubeSat sends home images from far side of the moon • The Register

Japan’s Equilibrium Lunar-Earth point 6U spacecraft (EQUEELEUS), one of 10 CubeSat payloads aboard NASA’s Orion spacecraft, has successfully returned photos from the far side of the moon to Earth.

According to the mission, the image was captured during a radio wave operation test on Nov. 22 during a lunar flyby from a distance of about 3,448 miles (5,550 km).

A second tweet revealed more images.

Deployed to measure plasma in the Earth-Moon system, the lunar probe is equipped with an ultra-high-speed camera, UV telescope and dust sensor in its small 6U CubeSat body to do its job.

Unlike the other Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) 6U cubesat aboard Orion, Omotenashi, also known as Outstanding Moon Exploration Technologies and demonstrated by Nano Semi-Hard Impactor, the mission is showing all the signs of one so far Good luck.

Omotenashi was scheduled to crash onto the moon, the landing cushioned by an inflatable airbag and shock-absorption system, where it would study lunar surface radiation with a monitor and accelerometer.

The mission was designed to demonstrate the use of low-cost technology to land and explore the lunar surface.

Unfortunately, the Cubesat’s radios did not respond after launch. According to JAXA, Omotenashi was unable to send commands to initiate a landing sequence once in orbit in the correct position to activate its thrusters.

On Tuesday, JAXA said that despite a missed opportunity to land on the moon, Omotenashi will continue to conduct radiation measurements outside of Earth’s magnetosphere, a goal it can complete in-flight along with technology demonstrations that don’t require a moon landing.

The space agency has established an Omotenashi response team that will investigate the cause of the outage and take future actions. ®

https://www.theregister.com/2022/11/24/equeelus_moon_pics/ Japanese CubeSat sends home images from far side of the moon • The Register

Rick Schindler

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