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Nozomi Mission to Mars

Mission Type: Orbiter
Launch Vehicle: M-5 (No. 3)
Launch Site: Uchinoura Space Center, Kagoshima, Japan
Spacecraft Mass: 540 kg at launch (orbiter was 258 kg)
Spacecraft Instruments: 1) MIC visible camera; 2) MGF magnetometer; 3) ESA energetic electrons experiment; 4) ISA energetic ions experiment; 5) IMI energetic ion mass experiment; 6) EIS high-energy particles experiment; 7) TPA thermal ion drift experiment; 8) PET electro, UVS ultraviolet spectrometer; 9) PWS sounder/HF waves experiment; 10) LFA plasma waves experiment; 11) NMS neutral gas mass spectrometer; 12) MDC dust counter; 13) XUV EUV spectrometer; and 14) USO ultra-stable oscillator/radio science experiment
Spacecraft Dimensions: 0.58 m high, 1.6 m square prism with truncated corners
Spacecraft Power: Solar Panels and rechargable batteries
S-Band Data Rate: 2293.89 MHz
X-Band Data Rate: 8410.93 MHz
Deep Space Chronicle: A Chronology of Deep Space and Planetary Probes 1958-2000, Monographs in Aerospace History No. 24, by Asif A. Siddiqi

National Space Science Data Center,

Nozomi, Japan's fourth deep space probe, was also its first planetary spacecraft. The spacecraft was originally slated to enter a highly elliptical orbit around Mars on 11 October

Its mission was to conduct long-term investigations of the planet's upper atmosphere and its interactions with the solar wind and to track the escape trajectories of oxygen molecules from Mars' thin atmosphere. The spacecraft also was to take pictures of the planet and its moons from its operational orbit of 300 x 47,500 kilometers. During perigee, Nozomi was to perform remote sensing of the atmosphere and surface; while close to apogee, the spacecraft would have studied ions and neutral gas escaping from the planet.

Although designed and built by Japan, the spacecraft carried a set of fourteen instruments from Japan, Canada, Germany, Sweden and the United States.

After entering an elliptical parking orbit around Earth, Nozomi was sent on an interplanetary trajectory that involved two gravity-assist flybys of the Moon on 24 September and 18
December 1998 (at 2,809 kilometers), and one of Earth on 20 December 1998 (at 1,003 kilometers).

Due to insufficient velocity imparted during the Earth flyby and two trajectory correction burns on 21 December 1998 that used more propellant than intended, Nozomi's originally planned mission had to be completely reconfigured.

A redesigned mission plan called for Nozomi to arrive in Mars orbit in December 2003, four years after its original schedule. But the spacecraft - damaged by solar flares and out of fuel - was ultimately diverted to avoid a possible collision with Mars. The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency declared the mission lost on 9 December 2003.

Key Dates
3 Jul 1998:  Launch
Status: Unsuccessful
Fast Facts
Nozomi Facts Nozomi (right) was Japan's first mission to another planet.

Nozomi means hope in Japanese. Before launch, it was known as Planet-B.

The orbiter weighed 541 kg (1,193 pounds), including fuel.

Nozomi means hope in Japanese. Before launch, it was known as Planet-B.

The spacecraft carried scientific instruments from Japan, Canada, Germany, Sweden and the United States.

Nozomi was Japan's first mission to Mars.
9 Dec 2003: 
9 Dec 2003: 
20 Nov 2003: 
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Last Updated: 30 Nov 2010