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Kaguya releases subsatellite, returns lunar images
Posted: Fri, Oct 12, 2007, 8:23 AM ET (1223 GMT)
Kaguya first image of the Moon (JAXA) Japan's Kaguya lunar orbiter released the first of two subsatellites earlier this week and also returned its first images of the Moon. Kaguya released the Rstar relay satellite into an intermediate elliptical orbit on October 9 as the main spacecraft gradually lowers its orbit. Rstar will work with a second subsatellite to be released later this month to measure the Moon's gravity field. JAXA also released the first images of the Moon taken by the main Kaguya spacecraft, taken while the spacecraft was between 800 and 1,500 km above the surface. Kaguya entered orbit around the Moon last week and will reach its final circular orbit by the end of next week.
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