CARPENTERIA, Calif., Jan. 22, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Four specialized antennas built by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) for the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are functioning as expected after deploying successfully onboard the SELenological and ENgineering Explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE), Japan's first large lunar explorer.

The four dipole antennas deployed to their 15-meter (49.5 feet) full design length Oct. 31. Manufactured by Northrop Grumman's Astro Aerospace business unit, the two sets of antennas have a tip-to-tip length of 30 meters (99 feet) and were built under contract to JAXA.

"The successful deployment of these antennas continues Astro Aerospace's unmatched record of 100 percent successful on-orbit deployments, encompassing thousands of units during the last 49 years," noted Tom Romesser, vice president and general manager of the Technology & Emerging Systems Division for Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector.

Astro Aerospace's antennas transmit high-power radio frequency (RF) pulses and receive echo signals, supporting the spacecraft's Lunar Radar Sounder (LRS). The LRS' equipment will measure lunar tectonic features up to about five kilometers (3 miles) in depth by observing RF reflection from the lunar surface and subsurface using radio radar wave.

The LRS also observes radio frequencies from other planets when the satellite is on the back side of the moon, where no artificial radio waves from the Earth interfere with the observations. This instrument will contribute to the study of the thermal history of the lunar surface region during a timeframe of several millions of years, according to JAXA.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $31.5 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

  CONTACT:  Bob Bishop
          Northrop Grumman Space Technology
          Cell: 310.251.0261