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Japan's Space Probe Overshoots Venus, Heads Toward Sun

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posted on Dec, 8 2010 @ 05:21 AM

Dec. 7: Probe Akatsuki reached Venus and prepared to enter orbit on a two-year mission that would mark a major milestone for Japan's space program and could shed light on the climate of Earth's mysterious neighbor

TOKYO -- A Japanese probe to Venus failed to reach orbit Wednesday and was captured by the sun's gravitational pull in a setback to Japan's shoestring space program, which will have to wait another six years to try again. The failure in the crucial orbital insertion stage of the probe was a big letdown for Japan, which has never suceeded in an interplanetary mission but has marked some major successes in space on a relatively tight budget that is focused primarily on small-scale science projects.

The probe, called Akatsuki, which means dawn, reached Venus on Tuesday and fired its engines in an attempt to reach an elliptical orbit. Mission officials said they briefly lost contact after that and determined Wednesday that Akatsuki's engines did not fire long enough to attain the proper orbiting position. The probe would have been the first that Japan had put in orbit around another planet. Japan launched a failed mission to Mars in 1998 that was plagued by technical glitches and finally abandoned in 2003.

Akatsuki was designed to monitor volcanic activity on Venus and provide data on its thick cloud cover and climate, including whether the planet has lightning. The probe is equipped with infrared cameras and other instruments to carry out its mission.
Still, officials said communication had been restored and Akatsuki appears to be intact and functioning as it heads off into an orbit around the sun.

Too bad. That would have been some interesting info coming back on this one.

It will be interesting to see what other data is now collected as the craft appears to be functional. Not a complete loss I guess but still a set back for the Japan programs.

Interesting how they went towards the sun and we all moving away. Maybe they know something we don't. hmmmm

posted on Dec, 8 2010 @ 05:38 AM
reply to post by anon72

Just waiting for the Tin Foil Brigade to come & say it was an ET who using their superior technology whilst disguised as a Chinese lantern made it overshoot its target!!!

posted on Dec, 8 2010 @ 05:46 AM
Just waiting for the asshole wanting to start a fight....Oh wait....

posted on Dec, 8 2010 @ 07:12 AM
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