Japan Prepares Lunar Penetrators
25 Apr 2003
(Source: Institute of Space and Astronautical Science)
April 25, 2003
We are now calibrating the communication system equipped on the penetrator for LUNAR-A Project, aiming for its launch after FY2004. The penetration test will be carried out in the U.S. in May 2003 to verify anti-shock resistance performance of the modified lunar seismometer. In early fall, the overall test for the communication system will be done inside the specially designed dome at Noshiro Testing Center (NTC). Although the former tests on the antenna used scaled-down model, in the coming tests we will conduct a full-system test using a penetrator equivalent in size to the flight model. After the communication system test, the penetrator will undergo the final penetration test (qualification test). The test findings will serve as reference to aid potting the actual penetrators installed on LUNAR-A. The overall test for the main spacecraft will resume this fall. At that time, all the project members will gather after a long separation. Since the schedule is tight, I hope that we can proceed successfully with our remaining tasks toward the launch, using all the team members' power.