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Akatsuki Mission to Venus

Goals: Akatsuki is Japan's first mission to Venus. The spacecraft was designed to orbit Venus following the westward rotation of the atmosphere, mapping the circulation and vertical structure of the planet's thick clouds.

Accomplishments: The spacecraft did not achieve Venus orbit insertion in December 2010 as planned. Mission planners are evaluating the spacecraft and determining the feasibility of trying again when the spacecraft returns to Venus in six years.

Key Dates
21 May 2010:  Launch
Status: In Review
Fast Facts
Akatsuki Facts Akatsuki means dawn in Japanese. The mission team chose the name because Venus shines brightly in the dawn.

The spacecraft's is also known as Planet-C.

The mission was designed to compliment data sent back by Europe's Venus Express orbiter.
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Last Updated: 24 Jan 2011