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Nozomi Mission to Mars

Goals: Japan's Nozomi was designed to study Mars' upper atmosphere and its interaction with the solar wind from orbit and study the planet's magnetic field. It carried cameras to photograph the Martian surface and the planet's two moons. Japanese engineers also planned the mission as a technology test for future deep space missions.

Accomplishments: During five years in space Nozomi did send back data on interplanetary space, but it could not complete its mission. A series of mishaps and malfunctions made it impossible for the spacecraft to enter Mars orbit. The spacecraft eventually ran out of fuel and was sent into orbit around our Sun to avoid a collision with Mars.

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