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The cube satellite from Japan has been successful in returning photos of the unobserved far side of the moon to Earth.
One of the ten CubeSat payloads on NASA’s Orion spacecraft, Japan’s Balance Moon-Earth Point 6U Spacecraft (EQUilibriUm Lunar-Earth Point 6U, or EQUEELEUS), has successfully returned photos of the far side of the Moon to Earth.
The images were captured on November 22 during a lunar flyby from a distance of around 5,550 km. The small, 6U-cube satellite body of the lunar probe, which is used to measure plasma in the Earth/Moon system, is provided with an ultra-high-speed camera, an ultraviolet telescope, and a dust sensor.
Compared to the second 6U cube satellite Omotenashi in Orion from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the mission appears to be on schedule thus far. In order to analyze the radiation of the moon’s surface, Omotenashi was designed to fall into the moon with a landing smoothed by an inflated airbag and shock absorption system.