Japan ready to send mission to explore Venus

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 18:44

Tokyo: Japan is all ready to launch Tuesday its new space mission which will study the climate and surface of Venus.

The new space vehicle, called Venus Climate Orbiter Akatsuki, will travel to Venus on a two-year mission to study its climate and surface. It has been placed on its launch pad at Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture Monday, Xinhua reported.
Akatsuki, which means "Dawn" in Japanese, is scheduled to lift off at 6:44 a.m. Tuesday, provided the weather is clear, said a spokesperson from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

"Once we can explain the structure of Venus, we will be able to better understand Earth," Akatsuki`s project scientist Takeshi Imamura said in a statement.

"For example, we may discover the reasons that only Earth has been able to sustain oceans, and why only Earth is abundant in life," he said.

Akatsuki is "the world`s first interplanetary probe that deserves to be called a meteorological satellite", Imamura said.

The probe carries five instruments which will help observe clouds, the terrain whilst orbiting the planet from the distances of 300 km to 80,000 km.
The mission will be launched by a Japanese H-2A rocket and, according to JAXA, will be carrying a payload to carry out several smaller satellite experiments, including a solar sail to be powered by the sun`s radiation.


First Published: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 18:44

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