JAXA Rocket Information Stolen by Computer Virus

Japan’s space agency said on Friday that information on one of its newest rockets was stolen from a desktop computer by someone using a computer virus.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said that the virus in a computer at its Tsukuba Space Center northeast of Tokyo was found to be secretly collecting data and sending it outside the agency. The agency said that after the virus was detected by antivirus software on Nov. 21, it conducted an emergency sweep for viruses that showed no other computers at the center had been infected.

Read the rest of the story: Japan’s Space Agency Says Rocket Information Was Stolen by Computer Virus.

Crescent Earth Images sent back by Akatsuki, the first Japanese planetary probe

Akatsuki, the first Japanese planetary probe designed to travel to Venus to examine its climate, sent back images of the Earth on Friday, when its three cameras were tested, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said Sunday.

Two of the images, which captured the infrared and ultraviolet rays radiated by the sun and reflected by the Earth, show a crescent Earth as they captured part of the planet in darkness.

Another photo, which captures infrared rays beamed from the Earth’s surface and atmosphere at a different wavelength shows the entire planet clearly, including the Antarctic, where temperatures are lower.

The images were taken around 8:50 p.m. on Friday, about 250,000 kilometers from the Earth and roughly 14 hours after a rocket carrying the space probe lifted off from Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, when its camera functions were being tested, according to Masato Nakamura, JAXA’s project manager.

That is roughly equivalent to about two-thirds the distance between the Earth and the moon, which are about 380,000 km apart.

Read the rest of the story: Images taken by Venus probe Akatsuki show crescent Earth

Ibuki Satellite on a Mission to Monitor Greenhouse Gases

Japan on Friday launched an H2A rocket carrying its Ibuki satellite on a mission to monitor greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. The Ibuki satellite is to observe for five years the concentration of carbon dioxide and methane, which cause global warming, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, which makes the H2A rocket.

The development cost for the greenhouse-gas monitoring satellite was $206 million, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said. The satellite is to measure levels of greenhouse gases at 56,000 locations around the globe.

The launch took place at the Tanegashima Space Centre in the southern province of Kagoshima and included seven smaller satellites that were developed by universities, private businesses, and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The other satellites will be used to study communications functions.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries hopes to boost its space business if this mission succeeds, the Jiji Press reported.