A new mission for Akatsuki, and status updates for Hayabusa 2 and Chang'e

Last week, JAXA announced a new set of science goals for the modified mission :. When flying further away from Venus, or about 10 times the radius of Venus from the planet, the Akatsuki will continuously observe Venus as a whole to understand its... When flying closer to Venus, or less than 10 times the radius of Venus, the orbiter will conduct close-up observations to clarify cloud convection, the distribution of minute undulatory motions and their changes. The nature of elliptical orbits is that the spacecraft spends much more of its time very far from Venus than it will spend close up. Almost all of Akatsuki's activity is described in item 1: continuous observations of the clouds. Akatsuki will also observe to capture the atmospheric layer structure and its changes by emitting radio waves that penetrate the atmosphere of Venus and receiving them on the ground. When Akatsuki comes closest to Venus, it will observe the layer structure of clouds and the atmosphere from a lateral...

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  1. In December 1866, American astronomer Chester Smith Lyman made observations of from the Yale Observatory, where he was on the board of managers. While observing the planet, he spotted a complete ring of light around the dark side of the planet 
  2. In order to buy more time, additional reboots could be scheduled. However, having dodged one close call, the team wants to initiate sail deployment as soon as possible. A plan of action is still being assembled, with discussions likely to last into the
  3. No learning without fails. It's early in the morning here in Europe, and I'm trying to twist my mind enough to imagine an orbit that has LightSail be bathed in sunlight without interruption, unless it's buzzarding above a pole I might get a lil more