National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

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We restarted a project with a new status, phase-A (future missions), in April, 2012. The term of “RISE” now stands for “Research of Interior Structure and Evolution of solar system bodies”. We have obtained important results such as clarifying the lunar gravity field in the far side and creating the global topographic map including the polar region in SELENE (Kaguya) through development and operation of radio sources for VLBI and laser altimeter.

Our goal is to elucidate the origin and the evolution of the solar system bodies by studying their interior. We therefore intend to develop our research further by promoting exploration of not only the Moon but also the other solar system bodies such as Mercury, Mars, Jovian system, and asteroids. Now we are preparing for the study of an asteroid currently called 1999 JU 3 with collaborators in JAXA, universities and institutes by using a laser altimeter aboard Hayabusa-2 asteroid explorer. We also participate in the development of a laser altimeter called “GALA” (Ganymede Laser Altimeter) for the JUICE mission, which will explore the Jovian system with Germany, Switzerland, and Spain.

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