National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Small Worlds, Big Discoveries Banner

Goals: Sakigake was to fly by Comet Halley as a practice mission for Japan, in preparation for the launch of Suisei, the country's primary mission to the comet.

Accomplishments: Sakigake flew by Comet Halley at a distance of about 7 million km. When ESA's Giotto spacecraft transmitted radio signals from within the comet's coma, Sakigake served as a reference vehicle, which permitted scientists to subtract the effects of Earth's atmosphere and ionosphere. The Japanese spacecraft also flew through and provided information about Earth's magnetic tail.

Key Dates
7 Jan 1985:  Launch (19:26 UT)
11 Mar 1986:  Comet Halley Flyby
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Sakigake Facts Sakigake was the first deep space mission launched by any country other than the United States and the Soviet Union.

The spacecraft was nearly identical to the Japanese Suisei spacecraft launched eight months later.

Sakigake means pioneer in Japanese.

Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA