Japan’s Akatsuki Probe Enters In Orbit Of The Planet Venus

Posted: Dec 10 2015, 3:58am CST | by , Updated: Dec 10 2015, 8:51pm CST, in News | Latest Science News


Japan’s Akatsuki Probe Enters in Orbit of the Planet Venus
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  • Japan’s Akatsuki Probe finds its way into the Orbit of the Planet Venus

Japan’s Akatsuki probe has found its way into the orbit of the planet Venus. Since its failed mission five years back, it had been circling the sun.

It’s been half a decade since Japan’s Akatsuki probe has been in orbit around the sun. JAXA’s probe has however finally reached its goal. It has entered into orbital rotation around the planet Venus which was its original destination from which it had veered its course.

Its first attempt was a fiasco of sorts since its engines had fired for a total of three minutes which was not enough to get the job done. The probe was thus placed into an aestivation of sorts. It was activated only a few days ago. 

JAXA covered its cameras to see whether they were in good condition. It took a remarkably crystal clear picture of Venus. JAXA will continue to look into the testing of its instruments. The next photography session will begin in April of 2016.

The Akatsuki space mission was a costly one that took an input $300 million. It was originally launched alongside the IKAROS which employed a solar sail in the conditions of outer space. 

On Sunday, Akatsuki fired its small altitude-control thrusters and managed to work in a suitable manner. The period of orbit around Venus is 13 to 14 hours long. The probe also moved in the same direction as the orbital rotation of Venus.

According to JAXA, the Akatsuki probe is in good health. Three of the probe’s half a dozen instruments will be road tested soon. It is hoped that the Akatsuki probe will manage to reach all its goals and carry out all the experiments it was meant to conduct in outer space. 

Akatsuki is the second such interplanetary space mission in the entire history of Japan. The first mission which was the Nozomi Mars probe failed in reaching the Red Planet. About eight years ago, the Kaguya orbiter managed to fly off in order to land on the moon. It was to examine the lunar surface.

The Kaguya however crashed into the moon in 2009. So, this time around the Akatsuki probe will be an example of a Japanese spacecraft that has proven to be successful in its goals despite some initial glitches in the system. Japan is one of the few worldwide nations to partake in the race for space.  

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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