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...

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

  1. A Japanese spacecraft will get a second chance to orbit Venus this December, five years after zooming past the planet on its first try. The Akatsuki Venus probe was supposed to begin circling Earth's hellishly hot sister planet in December 2010, but
  2. Originally, Akatsuki's orbit was to have a periapsis of 300 kilometers and an apoapsis of 79000 kilometers, with a period of 30 hours. The shape of this orbit was chosen so that Akatsuki's orbital motion would be roughly synchronized with the flow of
  3. Despite an early threat of thunderstorm-producing cumulus clouds that scrubbed yesterday's launch, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket lifted off as scheduled today at 4:10 p.m. EDT (20:10 UTC). Roosting atop Falcon was a Dragon spacecraft laden with two tons of