Tokyo: Japan''s unmanned lunar orbiter, Kaguya, has started taking pictures and has also released a miniature satellite, which will help map the moon.
The Kaguya lunar craft, launched Sept. 14, jettisoned the first of its two 110-pound "baby" satellites on Monday. The second mini-satellite is to be released on Oct. 14.
The mission has a life span of one year.
Kaguya is expected to produce detailed studies of the moon with the help of 14 scientific instruments, from a height of about 62 miles above the moon''s surface. It will produce high-resolution surface and gravity maps, observe the moon''s magnetic fields and search for water ice, among other scientific objectives.