Lunar orbit

Japan's SELENE probe has successfully reached lunar orbit, a first for this country, Japanese space agency officials said Friday. Now that they have shown that they can achieve that, how about some decent bicycle roads and make this beatuiful country a bit easier for all those of us who likes to take it slow!

(Image: Artist's rendering released Aug. 2006 by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA))

Updated: And I should add a link to Pandabonium's delightful essay about Kaguya:

SELENE has been nicknamed KAGUYA and is referred to by that name within JAXA and in press reports in honor of the ancient tale of the bamboo cutter's daughter. Once again Kaguya-hima has risen into the heavens on a chariot and is going home - to the Moon.

Do read the rest of his post: A Moon Maiden Takes Flight - Princess Kaguya


Pandabonium said…
If they stopped building so many unnecessary roads and used the money for pedestrian and bicycle paths it would help. Around here the latest "pork barrel" fad is adding concrete storm drains along the edge of every rural road - a total waste, perhaps even detrimental since it puts more run-off into the lakes and ocean rather than letting it soak into the ground. Sigh.

All is not lost. I just got back from a an hour bike ride on the back roads through rice paddies and stands of sugi trees.
Anonymous said…
I applaud the SELENE (Kaguya) mission. It is quite an ambitious undertaking to gain knowledge about our nearest neighbor in space, which in turn may offer a wealth of knowledge about our own planet. Considering the cost is only about US$264 million it is a bargain. The USA is spending 12 Billion (with a B) every month on war right now.
Pandabonium said…
Gomen. Shitsureishimasu. I forgot to thank you for the compliment and link. :O
I think we need an even more ambitious project. We should build a spacecraft to accommodate the world's human heads of state, and send them to the moon to explore it for us.

It would be too expensive to provide a return trip, of course. The project should be repeated every - oh, I don't know - five years or so.

Even if we didn't learn much about the moon, the world itself would no doubt be a better place.

Just a canine point of view. :p

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