Feeds

Japan scales back lunar ambitions

Spaceship fails MOT

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Japan is reportedly scrapping plans to visit the moon. Problems in developing the science package for the planned lander have delayed the project by so much that the spacecraft earmarked to make the journey has become dilapidated. Repairing the craft would be too costly, the agency says.

The Japanese Space Exploration Agency (JAXA) was planning to send a lander to the moon carrying two seismic sensors. These were to collect data that would have revealed much about the interior of our largest natural satellite.

The mission was supposed to leave Earth in 1995. For more than a decade, though, the scientists developing the seismic probes have struggled to get the instruments to work. During the delay, the mission's main ship was left untended, and is no longer fit for space travel.

Japan says it will finish developing the probes, and offer the technology to other spacefaring nations, but the moon mission itself will most likely be scrapped. A final decision is expected later this month, according to AP reports.

The space agency says it will now turn its full attention to the also-delayed SELENE probes. Mission planners envisage two small satellites orbiting the moon, measuring its gravitational and magnetic fields. This mission is already four years behind schedule, but there is talk that it might head for space some time this summer. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
OK Google, do I have CANCER?
Company talks up pill that would spot developing tumors
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.