This Japanese rocket launch looks like an early atomic bomb test

This stunning image shows the launch of the Japanese H-IIA rocket as it carries the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory into space. The rocket thundered into the sky at 1:37 p.m. EST on Thursday February 27th and this image was, unsurprisingly, captured by NASA photographer Bill Ingalls. » 2/28/14 6:43am 2/28/14 6:43am

Japan's Launching a Giant Net Into Orbit to Scoop Up Space Junk

Something must be done to deal with the estimated 100 million bits of man-made space junk circling the planet, and Japan is taking the lead. But can we do? Shoot it with a laser? Invent Wall-E-like robots to collect it? Nah… let's just blast a big net into space. » 1/15/14 12:24pm 1/15/14 12:24pm

Japan's Rocket Launch Was Totally On The Cheap

Yesterday the Japanese space agency Jaxa successfully launched the Epsilon rocket, which is carrying a telescope, Sprint-A, for planetary observation. Jaxa was able to complete the launch for about $37 million, half the cost of previous Jaxa rockets and cheap compared to an average $450 million NASA launch. » 9/15/13 5:22pm 9/15/13 5:22pm

This Amazing Space Image Just Won the Internet

Not only this image wins the internet for the most amazing image of the Venus transit, but to me it's also one of the most impressive images in the history of astronomy and space exploration. The scale and the feeling left me in awe. » 6/06/12 4:26pm 6/06/12 4:26pm

Japanese Space Agency Caught Piece Of Space Junk *This Big*

The problem of space junk is being dealt with in a novel way by Japanese space agency JAXA, which plans to rope up loads of the broken old stuff from the 1960s in an old-fashioned, analogue, traditional net several kilometres wide. The triple-layered metal thread net will then be burned up in the atmosphere once full,… » 2/08/11 4:00am 2/08/11 4:00am

Pogo Jumping Robot Could Rule Low Gravity Worlds

Japan, no stranger to work that involves delivering robotics to every facet of human society, thinks it may have figured out the best way for bipedal robots to move on low gravity worlds like the Moon. Enter the pogo stick: » 12/19/10 10:00am 12/19/10 10:00am

Surfing Earth's Magnetic Field With a Giant Space Ribbon

A Japanese rocket unfurled a 300-metre-long ribbon in space on Monday, testing technology that could one day allow spacecraft to navigate by surfing Earth's magnetic field. » 9/04/10 10:00am 9/04/10 10:00am

Solar Sail Proves Photon Acceleration Works, as it Twists and Turns…

Less than two months after being unfurled in space, Japan's IKAROS solar sail accomplished its ambitious aim—becoming the first spacecraft to travel in space, powered by the sun. Now, it's demonstrated its fine steering ability. » 7/28/10 5:43am 7/28/10 5:43am

Japan Sending Mirrorball to Mercury

Fresh from the (possible) success of its Hayabusa comet dust hoover, Japan is planning a new space mission—sending a rotating mirrored probe to the currently fashionable planet Mercury. » 7/21/10 6:40am 7/21/10 6:40am

Hayabusa Space Probe May Contain Asteroid Dust, or Just Normal Dust

See that? It might be a dust particle from an asteroid! Or it might be a flake of dried skin from a man in the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency factory that built the Hayabusa probe. No one knows yet. » 7/07/10 3:47am 7/07/10 3:47am

Japan's Space-Surfing Solar Sail Photographed For First Time

Good news for the Little Japanese Solar Sail That Could, as the first images of the solar sail spread out in full deployment have been snapped. All is going according to plan, says the space agency, and "flying" looks possible. » 6/17/10 2:40pm 6/17/10 2:40pm

Selene's Final Approach Before Crashing Into the Moon

The Selene lunar probe has captured amazing footage of the surface of the moon, but on June 11th it finally crashed into the surface. This is a reconstruction of its final approach, based on flight data. [JAXA via Pink Tentacle] » 6/22/09 11:10am 6/22/09 11:10am

Videos So Close to the Moon You Can Almost Touch It

Selene— Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's spacecraft mapping and filming the moon in High Definition for the first time—keeps returning crystal-clear videos of the Moon surface. And the video will keep getting closer and closer, until it crashes. » 6/05/09 9:00am 6/05/09 9:00am

Origami Space Shuttles Unveiled, Kids Around the World Hold Their Breath

This has to be the dream of every kid and adult on Earth: Make a paper plane and throw it from orbit. Well, there's one lucky Japanese astronaut who is going to get nine of them, a paper space shuttle fleet which will go up to the International Space Station. Then, they will be dropped from orbit into a 250-mile,… » 10/09/08 8:00am 10/09/08 8:00am

Unmanned Japanese Cargo Spacecraft Could Be NASA's Next Space Shuttle

With the dinosaur Space Shuttle set to retire in 2010, and Orion due to be finished (optimistically) by 2015, NASA may purchase the $131 million unmanned HTV cargo vehicle from JAXA, Japan's space agency, to guarantee fresh shipments of space-Doritos flowing up to the brave souls on the International Space Sation.… » 7/21/08 1:00pm 7/21/08 1:00pm

Video of Space Boomerang Is Exactly What You Expect

We knew that boomerangs work in space because Takao Doi tried one in the International Space Station last month. Now, thanks to JAXA's obsession with cameras we have proof on video. The usual skeptics who think that Elvis is really the only human that ever went to the moon—and still lives there—will be happy. [JAXA » 5/01/08 8:06am 5/01/08 8:06am

First High Definition Moon Map Released, Uranium Sites Located

Selene, Japan's lunar spacecraft and HD peeping Tom, keeps sending stunningly-detailed information from our crystal clear Moon to trashed Mother Earth. These first-ever high definition global topographic maps of the Moon were created using 1,127,392 point measurements, taken with its laser altimeter. And they are just » 4/13/08 3:00pm 4/13/08 3:00pm

Japan's Kizuna Satellite to Beam Souped Up Internet Connection Back Home

Japan is launching the Kizuna satellite, which will bring high-speed internet access to Japan's remote territories and neighboring countries, as well as providing continuous networking in case of emergency. The $342 million project, spearheaded by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration… » 2/24/08 8:00pm 2/24/08 8:00pm

First HD Image of the Earth from 236,000 Miles Away

If you ever wondered what our planet looked like in hi-def from a quarter of a million miles away, now you know. Thanks to an HDTV camera with 1920 x 1080 resolution onboard the lunar explorer Kaguya (but you can call her Serene), images of the Earth rising and setting on November 7 were beamed back to JAXA's Usuda… » 11/14/07 8:39am 11/14/07 8:39am