About RISE project office

(1st, April, 2014) We restarted a project with a new status, phase-A (future missions), in April 2012. The term of "RISE" now stands for "Research of Interior Structure and Evolution of solar system bodies". We have obtained important results such as clarifying the lunar gravity field in the far side and creating the global lunar topographic map including the polar region in SELENE (Kaguya) through development and operation of radio sources for VLBI and laser altimeter.

Our goal is to elucidate the origin and the evolution of the solar system bodies by studying their interior. We, therefore, intend to develop our research further by promoting exploration of not only the Moon but also the other solar system bodies such as Mercury, Mars, Jovian system, and asteroids. Now we are preparing for the study of an asteroid currently called 1999 JU 3 with collaborators in JAXA, universities, and institutes by using a laser altimeter aboard Hayabusa-2 asteroid explorer (launch in 2014 winter). We also participate in the development of a laser altimeter called “GALA” (Ganymede Laser Altimeter) for the ESA-lead JUICE mission, which will explore the Jovian system (launch in 2022) with Germany, Switzerland, and Spain. We challenge the exploration of icy satellites for the first time in Japan.

We also promote cooperation with researchers in the planetary science, the solar system astronomer, and the extra-solar planets in National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and other institutions related to their researches. In addition, we intend to continue the effort of explaining the scientific results obtained by our study to the public.