Japan exploration history

• Kaguya (Selene) High-definition video mapping with two auxiliary satellites for precision mapping capability

• Lunar-A Future lunar satellite to fire probes into the lunar sufface

This brief listing of the lunar exploration history and probes was given in the hope that these would not be the last. All of these aided in our understanding of the Moon, and have already radically changed our perception of the Moon and its origin. There is much more to the Moon than a nearby object to be explored for its history, natural resources and structure. The most important aspect of the Moon is that it can be a natural orbital station, it can be a staging base for deeper exploration of space, it can be an operational training base and systems development test site for hardware that will eventually permit us to confidently and safely have humans establish a base on Mars. Technically Apollo-Soyuz was not a lunar mission, but it was the precursor to the cooperation that led to the ISS being established in orbit. When one of these authors (PC) visited the Space Museum in Moscow, the centerpiece of the Museum (in 1990) was the Apollo-Soyuz spacecraft joined together and hanging in the rotunda. In the Leninsk Museum outside of Baikonur Space Center there is a tribute to the spacecraft commanders, Tom Stafford and Alexei Leonov. Also within the tribute is some of the space artwork of Leonov, who was quite an accomplished artist. The last Saturn and Apollo moon launch departed Kennedy Space Center on 15 July 1973 at 19:50 GMT and brought to an end the United States exploration of the Moon and an era of accomplishments that, just a few years previously, were thought impossible.

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