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Japanese spacecraft AKATSUKI all set to enter Venus orbit

An artist's illustration of AKATSUKI near Venus. A JAXA photo

TOKYO (BNS): After travelling in space for over six months, Japanese spacecraft AKATSUKI is all set to enter Venus’s orbit on Tuesday.

The Venus orbiter shifted its attitude at 7:50 am on Monday to be ready for Venus orbit insertion at 8:49 am on December 7, Japanese space agency JAXA announced.

The spacecraft will be inserted into the planet’s orbit after scientists on the ground observe the conditions on the planet.

“We will observe Venus before the AKATSUKI arrives there, then broadcast the scene of the Control Room when the AKATSUKI is injected into the orbit,” JAXA, which plans a live broadcasting of the event, said.

Japan had launched AKATSUKI spacecraft on May 21, 2010 as the next planetary exploration project for its Martian orbiter NOZOMI.

Also called PLANET-C, the AKATSUKI project aims at unraveling the mysteries of Venus's atmosphere and establish the planet's meteorology.

The spacecraft, carrying several scientific instruments, including an infrared observation device to acquire three dimensional meteorological data with high resolution, will observe Venus from its orbit. The probe vehicle of AKATSUKI will enter an elliptical orbit, 300 to 80,000 km away from Venus’s surface.


AKATSUKI  Venus  JAXA  spacecraft  

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