Japan will have an orbiter out there in a few years. While my awesome America will still be pumping more resources into Dick Cheney's social strata's bank accounts.
Woo fuckin' Hoo...
(and ya know they're fucking you and me and the whole freakin' species in the process...)
In the year 2007 CE, Japan is doing what NASA could've done and built upon since 30+ years ago - getting to know the moon.
Japan to launch its first lunar orbiter
By ERIC TALMADGE, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 2 minutes ago
TOKYO - Japan is set to launch its first lunar orbiter this summer, but exploring the moon is just part of the mission.
The other goal is to catch up with China, the new leader in Asia's space race.
Japan's space agency JAXA announced last week that the much-delayed SELENE probe will be launched in August aboard an H-2A rocket, the mainstay of Japan's space program.
JAXA says the SELENE project is the largest lunar mission since the U.S. Apollo program. It involves placing a main satellite in orbit at an altitude of about 60 miles and deploying two smaller satellites in polar orbits. Researchers will use data gathered by the probes to study the moon's origin and evolution.
"This mission will involve observation of the whole moon, not just parts of it," said JAXA spokesman Satoki Kurokawa. "It is a very ambitious project."
The mission is a stepping stone in Japan's plan to more aggressively pursue space objectives — including a lunar landing and, possibly, manned missions in space. To raise public awareness, JAXA is conducting a "Wish Upon the Moon" campaign that allows people to send brief messages up with the orbiter.
Gee golly! Aren't ya glad you paid your taxes this year*?
* None the less, this is totally cool! lol! Go Homo!!!