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Moessbauer group of Mainz University preparing for participation in Japanese moon mission
Date:7/13/2011

This release is available in German.

The Mssbauer Group at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), Germany, has made a significant contribution towards the exploration of Mars during its long-term cooperation with the US space agency NASA. The Mainz research team led by Dr Gstar Klingelhfer is now building up new contacts with the aim of cooperating with JAXA, the Japanese space agency. It is planned to use an innovative spectrometer to determine the chemical composition of lunar material during the next Japanese Moon mission, SELENE-2. In this context Professor Nobuyuki Hasebe of Waseda University in Tokyo has been with the Mssbauer Group as a visiting professor for the past weeks. "Professor Hasebe will be working with me and my team until early August on current and planned projects to explore the solar system, especially Mars and the Moon, but also asteroids," explains Klingelhfer, head of the Mssbauer Group. Hasebe is one of the leading researchers at the Japanese space agency and has been involved in various space missions.

As an unmanned lunar mission, SELENE-2 was originally planned for a launch in 2012, but it is postponed until 2014, probably. The researchers in Mainz will contribute a newly developed x-ray fluorescence spectrometer, which will be used to analyze in situ the elemental composition of lunar material. The SELENE-2 rover will deploy the spectrometer very close to the surface of a rock or lunar dust that is of interest to the scientists. The novel approach of the x-ray fluorescence spectrometer is the usage of a specially designed x-ray generator instead of a radioactive source. Such radioactive sources are applied by the well-known alpha particle x-ray spectrometer (APXS), also known as "the Mainz snooper." "We are currently in the development phase and are fitting a special x-ray generator to the well-approved and tested
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Contact: Dr. Goestar Klingelhoefer
klingel@uni-mainz.de
49-613-139-23282
Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz
Source:Eurekalert

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