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About RISE

Researches in shape, gravity and rotation of the Earth and their temporal variations are called as “geodesy”. A lot of geodetic researches have been made at Mizusawa Campus of National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), since its early history as the International Latitude Observatory of Mizusawa. We applied the research techniques at the geodesy to study of the Moon, that is “selenodesy”.

We, the members of RISE (Research in Selenodesy) project at NAOJ, have developed scientific instruments to accurately observe the lunar topography and gravity for Japanese lunar exploration mission “SELENE (Kaguya)”, and have achieved important research outcomes in cooperation with researchers of JAXA and some universities through the mission. After the operation of Kaguya came to an end in 2009, we have been continuously analyzing the Kaguya data. At the same time, we propose mission instruments to the SELENE-2 (next Japanese lunar mission), the Hayabusa-2 (next Japanese asteroid mission) and the MELOS-1 (next Japanese Mars mission).

In April 2012, the status of the RISE project changed from phase-C (SELENE) to phase-A (future missions). The term of “RISE” now stands for “Research of Interior Structure and Evolution of solar system bodies”. We, as the new team, intend to progress our studies about these subjects not only for the Moon but also for other planets and asteroids.