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Exhibition Guide

Exploration to the Moon

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Purpose of Exhibition

The Saturn V rocket is a multistage rocket with liquid fuel used by NASA's Apollo program. A total of 13 Saturn V were launched in six years between 1968 and 1973. All launches succeeded, including Apollo 13, which was not able to land on the moon because of Apollo's explosion accident. The Saturn V was the largest and most powerful rocket ever made taking into account its total height, gross weight, and payload (superimposed load).
Here we introduce the history of humankinds' challenge to travel to the moon showing the model of Saturn V rocket in the center. We show a timeline after the first step on the moon, until present times, when countries are competing with each other to send their probes to the moon.

Additional Knowledge

[Space Race Era]
The challenge to land on the moon was started by three unmanned missions: "Luna program" by the former Soviet Union, the "Ranger program" and the "Surveyor program" by the United States. A mapping of most locations on the moon was made, and the manned exploration mission has started.
Though the United States made a total of 6 successful manned moon missions including the first Apollo 11, the former Soviet Union was unable to carry through any manned exploration to the moon, because of accidents such as explosion of the rocket engine.

[Apollo program]
The Apollo program begun with the historic speech by United States President John F kennedy in 1961:"This nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.". It was carried out from 1961 to 1972, and Apollo 11 accomplished the first moon landing at 5:17 AM, on July 21st, 1969 (Japan time). This was the moment when a human kind landed on a celestial body outside of the Earth for the first time. During the entire Apollo program, in a total of 12 astronauts were sent to the moon in a total of 6 separate times. They also brought back 381.7 kg of rocks in total from the moon.

[Again to the moon]
The Japanese satellite "Hiten" was the first satellite that went around the moon made by a country other than the United States or the former Soviet Union. The United States succeeded in investigating the entire surface of the moon and made detailed maps.
Besides, in 2008, Japan successfully launched the lunar orbiter "Kaguya". It made the entire topography of the moon and carried out 15 kinds of observations, such as investigating the surface composition and gravity anomalies. Beautiful images were taken by a high-definition camera were also widely introduced.
Contries like China and India are also vigorously exploring the moon.

[Mysteries that remains on the moon]
The Moon is considered as a big satellite of the Earth, but it is enven too big for the Earth when we compare it with other planets. In addition, the moon has a considerably different appearance between its front side and the back side as visible from earth. We don't even know whether it has a core made of metal similar to the earth. There are many mysteries surrounding the moon remained unsolved, such as "its size", "the differences between its front side and back side", and "its internal structure".


【 References 】

Article by Astronomy Section


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