Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Japan loses contact with Akatsuki, humanity’s only active Venus probe

NASAJapan loses contact with Akatsuki, humanity's only active Venus probe

The Japanese space agency said it has lost contact with its intrepid Venus spacecraft Akatsuki.

Akatsuki is Japan’s mission dedicated to studying the climate of Venus and currently the only active spacecraft in orbit around the second planet from the sun. The $300 million spacecraft launched in 2010 and had a less than stellar start to its mission, failing to enter orbit around Venus due to a failure of its main engine. However, the mission team managed to contrive a second opportunity in 2015 after five years of orbiting the sun, successfully entering orbit.

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