Venus Probe Misses – Japan’s Akatsuki Misses Opportunity to Orbit Planet – Hitoshi Soeno: Another Chance in Six Year?

Filed in Gather News Channel by on December 9, 2010 0 Comments

A Japanese Venus probe, Atkatsuki, misses its mark and shoots pass Venus instead of orbiting around the planet. Hitoshi Soeno, a spokesperson for JAXA, assures everyone the probe will get another chance in a six years. Atkatsuki cost Japan $300 million so what happened?

Apparently, the Japanese probe was bogged down with several issues before it even made it to Venus. First, JAXA, Japan’s space agency, had a difficult time staying in contact with Atkatsuki as it came closer to the planet. Then, Atkatsuki’s engines didn’t have enough power to propel it into Venus’ orbit. What an epic blow to JAXA.

Atkatsuki cost Hundreds of millions of dollars so it’s a safe bet that JAXA is sorely disappointed. The Venus probe was going to monitor Venus’s volcanic activity as well as send information back on its atmosphere. Not to be discouraged, Soeno told press:

“Unfortunately, it did not attain an orbit…But it appears to be functioning and we may be able to try again when it passes by Venus six years from now.”

That is a long time so let’s hope Japan is able to carry out what they set out for the Venus probe. Otherwise, Atkatsuki would be a royal waste of money and  man power. Even if it was able to send data back, the mission would be a complete failure in many ways! What do you think about this story?

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2010 Sophie s. Benvenuti – Gather.com

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