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The Forefront of Space Science


April 9, 2010 updated

Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image (MAXI)Starting to Watch the Dynamically Changing Universe

The Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image (MAXI) mounted on the International Space Station has started its mission. Two X-ray observation instruments within MAXI monitor the entire sky once every 90 minutes. MAXI has already successfully detected gamma-ray bursts, X-ray nova, etc. Further findings by MAXI in the future are expected around the world.

(ISAS News: November 2009 issue)

March 4, 2010 updated

Research on Ultra-High Temperature Liquids Using the Electrostatic Levitation Technique

There are many as yet unsolved questions about liquids with melting points that are too high for containers. If we were able to levitate such liquids, these questions could be answered. JAXA has developed the electrostatic levitation technique. During an experiment using this technique in the synchrotoron radiation facility, a significant discovery was obtained regarding the electronic structure of liquid silicon.

(ISAS News: October 2009 issue)

December 24, 2009 updated

Transmitting Information about the Universe via a Small Circuit Space Communications by the Cutting-Edge Radio-wave Engineering Technology

Energy and environmental problems have come to issues that require a global-scale solution. With the concept “clean space communication talking to a far-distant universe,” JAXA is actively engaged in the research and development of: ultra-small, ultra-high-performance sensor and semiconductor integrated circuit; the world’s smallest transceiver with antenna; and an ultra-high-speed wireless communication and energy transmission network.

(ISAS News: September 2009 issue)

October 23, 2009 updated

Hottest Gas in the Universe Discovered by SUZAKU

The excellent capabilities of the X-ray astronomical satellite SUZAKU, launched in 2005, discovered the hottest gas in the universe in the RXJ1347 galaxy cluster. The gas is believed to have been generated by a collision between two large galaxy clusters. SUZAKU captured one moment in evolution where two galaxy clustersEgravity pulled both together t–o form a single immense celestial body.

(ISAS News: August 2009 issue)

October 22, 2009 updated

Moon and Beyond 
Plasma Environment around the Moon Explored by KAGUYA

Although mankind landed on the lunar surface in the 1960s, the plasma environment of the Moon remains little known. This article introduces the observation results of the low energy charged particle instrument MAP-PACE onboard the lunar-orbiting satellite KAGUYA launched in September 2007. It is expected that the results obtained from this observation will be of great use for a planned Mercury exploration mission.

(ISAS News: July 2009 issue)

October 9, 2009 updated

Mystery of Solar Coronal Heating Being Explored by Satellites

The temperature of the solar surface is about 6,000 kelvin, yet corona with several million kelvin exists just several thousand km above the surface. The production mechanism for this high-temperature corona remains a mystery. Research on the mystery continues using the most advanced observation instruments onboard the solar observation satellite HINODE launched in 2006.

(ISAS News: June 2009 issue)

September 21, 2009 updated

Flexible Autonomous Thermal Control for Spacecraft

Spacecraft has to cope with various thermal environments in outer space. This article introduces the conventional thermal-control method and a newly developed device that can fulfill three functions simultaneously: heat radiation, heat retention and heat absorption. This device meets the requirements of future space missions for autonomous thermal control enabling to measure and control temperature by itself.

(ISAS News: May 2009 issue)

April 23, 2009 updated

Aiming at a Highly Accurate Satellite Structure

With the advancement of satellite missions, the accuracy requirements for satellites, their antennae, telescopes, etc., become ever stricter. To respond to these requirements, satellite design must take into account various factors such as: problems related to manufacture on the ground in addition to vibration of onboard instruments, structural distortion by heat, and degradation of materials by radiation even in outer space.

(ISAS News: January 2009 issue)