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 terrestrial geodesy to study of the Moon and planetary bodies, that is “planetary geodesy”.
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 the Hayabusa-2 (Japanese asteroid mission) , JUICE(JUpiter ICy moons Explorer) and the MMX (Martian Moons eXploration).
In April 2019, the official name of our project changed from RISE Project Office to RISE Project. The term of “RISE” stands for “Research of Interior Structure and Evolution of solar system bodies” as previously. We continuously participate in and contribute to lunar and planetary missions intending to progress Japanese planetary sciences from our studies for not only the Moon but also other planets and asteroids.