The Hiten Spacecraft (Japanese pronunciation: [hiteɴ]), given the English name Celestial Maiden and known before launch as MUSES-A (Mu Space Engineering Spacecraft A), part of the MUSES Program, was built by the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science of Japan and launched on January 24, 1990. It was Japan's first lunar probe, the first robotic lunar probe since the Soviet Union's Luna 24 in 1976, and the first lunar probe launched by a state other than the Soviet Union or the United States.Hiten was to have been placed into a highly elliptical Earth orbit with an apogee of 476,000 km, which would swing past the Moon.
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