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The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the “Kaguya” (Shining Princess) lunar exploration probe Sept. 14. It is now on its way to the moon, 380,000 km away. Kaguya marks the biggest moon mission since the 1969-72 U.S. Apollo flights. It is hoped that the probe, launched by an H-IIA rocket, will obtain valuable clues to the origin and evolution of the moon.

It is also hoped that high-resolution images of the moon sent from Kaguya’s camera will excite people worldwide, including children, and help them develop an interest in space science.

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